Three to contest Rangitikei mayoralty

By Zaryd Wilson

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Rangitikei District Council
Rangitikei District Council

Three will contest the Rangitikei mayoralty with George London, Rob Snijders to go up against incumbent Andy Watson.

All three are from Marton.

Nominations for October's election closed yesterday.

There will be no contest in the Turakina and Hunterville wards with current councillors Soraya Peke-Mason and Dean McManaway the only candidates.

Ten will contest four Marton seats, four for Bulls' two seats while four are in the race to fill Taihape's three seats.

Lynne Sheridan will be the most experienced Rangitikei District councillor if she is elected for a sixth term in October.

The Marton woman says she still has a desire for the role after 15 years.

"The job's never done," she said. "It's ongoing and it's just building on what's already been put in place."

Mrs Sheridan has been a champion for council engagement in recent years.

"It's slightly better but I don't think it's as good as it could be."

This term she started running council street tables in Marton, setting up in the street for people to come and discuss council issues.

"We're actually bringing it to them in their space. Council's actually got to be in the public space."

Meanwhile, Mangaweka man Richard Aslett is seeking a third term on council but will not be contesting the mayoralty as he did three years ago.

"That was something for last time," he said.

"In a way it's sort of business as usual because I think we've got a pretty good team there at the moment."

He said the big issue for his Taihape ward would be deciding weather to building a new civic centre or earthquake strengthen the current town hall.

"That's the next big thing on the horizon. The next term we need to try and get a gauge from the community as to what they want."

Mr Aslett said he also supported strengthening the shared service agreement with Manawatu in the next term of council.

One of only two new candidates to be officially in the race, Rob Snijders, has a different view on how council is going and said it needed to be more engaged with the community.

The Marton Community Committee member said people investing in the town needed more support.

He is one of them, having recently purchased the fire-damaged Granary on High St.
"I would have thought a councillor would have got in contact with us to have a chat over a coffee. Instead we get rising hurdles," he said.

"We are not expecting the red carpet treatment however an investment of the council's time would go far to establishing good working relationships."

The Chronicle will talk to the remaining candidates and mayoral challengers in the coming days.

Confirmed candidates for Rangitikei District Council:

Mayor: George London, Rob Snijders, Andy Watson.
Taihape Ward: Richard Aslett, Angus Gordon, Etain McDonnell, Ruth Rainey.
Hunterville Ward: Dean McManaway
Bulls Ward: Jane Dunn, Tim Harris, Rebecca McNeil, Graeme Platt.
Marton Ward: Cath Ash, Carolyn Bates, Nigel Belsham, Steve Costelloe, Anne George, George London, Lynne Sheridan, Rob Snijders, Brendon Williams, Dave Wilson.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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