Deputy Tauranga mayor Kelvin Clout is after the top job. And he's hoping third time's a charm.

"I hope to be the bridegroom, not the bridesmaid," he said.

He's been the "bridesmaid" for the last six years, acting as deputy to mayors Stuart Crosby and Greg Brownless.

Both times he's lost at the polls by less than 2000 votes.


But Kelvin says he's come back stronger and even more ready for the role.

"Obviously I was disappointed. Like every politician when you don't achieve your aims, you lick your wounds for a little while, and very quickly get back on the horse and keep going.

His wife Kathryn Clout, takes the losses harder.

"I was quite devastated because I saw how hard he worked and the sacrifices we had made as a family and as a couple," she said.

Kelvin and Kathryn moved to Tauranga 29 years ago.

"We love the city, we've seen lots of changes," Kelvin said. "When we first arrived with one child, there wasn't one cafe open after one in the afternoon, and now look at it. There's pockets of cafes, it's pretty much a cafe culture now."

They have two sons, a daughter, and two grandchildren. Kelvin says family sits at the very heart of his vision for the city.

"Obviously there are lots of other forms of family. There are single mums with children, they work really hard bringing up their children. A city has to be a place for all families, of all shapes and sizes."

The Clouts owned a frozen foods business for more than a decade. Kathryn has battled breast cancer and now runs a private kindergarten.

"From a very early age I was interested in politics, mainly central government politics, but in 2013 quite a few people shoulder taped me and said 'would you consider running for council?'," Kelvin said. "At that point council was in a bit of a disarray, there was a bit of dysfunction and infighting, so I was one of the new seven councillors that came in in 2013."

During his time in council, Kelvin is most proud of helping facilitate new developments, such as the Bay Oval lights.


He says the two biggest issues Tauranga currently faces are transportation and housing affordability.

"Those are two key issues as a mayor I would definitely need to grapple with. Tauranga is growing up as a city, which is why we now have much better facilities than we've ever had before. Especially when we first moved here 29 years ago.

"But there's still a lot of room for improvement with the places we have in our city to enjoy. Obviously there's a lot of debate about perhaps a new stadium, or museum. These are facilities I'm sure one day we will get. But we have to do it in a sustainable and affordable manner."

The Clouts say they've come up against a lot opposition.

"People think we have hidden agendas, conspiracy theories, and behind closed doors were planning the demise of a city and of course nothing can be further from the truth. I've personally developed a thick skin so it doesn't affect me personally, but I know that backlash does affect Kathryn, and that's understandable. So I've tried to protect her some of the times but it's not always possible."

"It's quite a hard position for spouses," Kathryn said. "Because so often, things are reported wrong or things are cited inaccurately. So I sort of want to just poke people in the face - I can't do that. People seem to take no hesitation to be toxic and mean. downright mean comments. And they forget that there's people involved."

Despite losing out on the top job twice, Kelvin is optimistic this year will be different.
And win or lose, he says his biggest achievement is his marriage.

"Being married for 32 years, growing together as a couple, growing a beautiful family, we are now in the third generation and that's such an excitement to see, the children coming through, and obviously I want a city where our grandchildren can thrive and grow here as well."

Made with funding from