Four new faces will be around the Te Puke Community Board table when it meets for the first time next month.

With only one member of the previous board - Joan Dugmore - seeking re-election, there was always going to be new blood on the board, but when preliminary results were released on Sunday, the top four candidates were new - new to the board, but not new to working for the town.

Earlier this week the four members met and chose top-polling Richard Crawford as the new board chairman. Also successful, in order of votes cast, were Tupaea Rolleston, Dale Snell and Kassie Ellis.

Builder Richard is a volunteer fire fighter and a trustee of the Search Party Charitable Trust which operates the Daily Cafe.


He says he was asked about standing for the board many times.

Initially he had been content with encouraging others to stand as he wanted to make sure there was a new board, and was one of those who encouraged fellow volunteer fire fighter Tupaea to stand.

''I definitely felt pretty well supported and that was the only reason I put my hand up,'' he says.

It was Tupaea who broke the news of Richard's success.

''After [Saturday's Te Puke Community Expo] I was having a bit of a snooze at home and Tupaea rang - 'have you seen the results?' - so he saw it before I did.''

Richard says it is a strength of the new board members that they already know one another.

''That's something to play on because the reason a lot of us put our hand up was because we all have a strong vision and a positive outcome for Te Puke and for us to all get together, with [newly elected councillor] Monique [Lints] and [councillor] Grant [Dally] who are already on a lot of different groups, that's a really good team for advocating on behalf of Te Puke.

''I'm pretty excited about that because I personally believe Te Puke is in line for future growth.''


Committing to standing was a last minute decision for Tupaea, owner of Tarnix Security, who only submitted his nomination at the last possible moment.

''It had been on my mind for a considerable amount of time,'' he says. ''I've worked with the community board on various projects ... and I knew the town was ready for a fresh new team and thought it really need that.

''I looked down at who was standing for it, who was going to put their name forward this year and I knew Kassie was going to and knew Richard was and thought, 'that's a good team, I could work them'.''

He says he and his fellow board members are doers, not dreamers.

''Some people might say [about me] 'he's only 26', but if you take a look at what I've pulled off over the last 10 years, work speaks over age. I definitely think we have a really strong team that can deliver excellence.

He says he would like to see discussions on what the community wants and sees the board as a facilitator.

''I think it's a mouth piece. It may not have all the resources, but we can connect things.
Te Puke is a small town but there's a lot of really on to it people here.''

Dale says she is very excited to be on ''such an amazing team of people''.

''We all know one another fairly well - it's a good sign. We all recognise each other's work in the community we've all worked really hard in this community ... we all have such great individual strengths.

Dale is a Te Puke Centre trustee and is on the Te Puke War Memorial Hall Committee and Te Puke Community Markets Committee.

''Going forward I think we need to gather as much community voice as possible and see what the community wants. I think the community board needs to have a bigger public presence.''

She thanked outgoing board chairman Peter Miller who has mentored her and Kassie through the process.

Kassie says she things the feeling in the community is hope.

''I think everybody is excited for it, everybody's ready for change and wants to do something about it and I think we will deliver if I'm honest.''

A marriage celebrant, Kassie was officiating at a wedding when the news came through.

''I was standing at the end of the aisle for the groom and bride - I was trying not to get overly excited and tried to rein it in for the wedding.''

She says there was some surprise at her success.

''I think I felt that the fourth position would be between me and somebody else just because the other three candidates were ahead of me.

Kassie works in community liaison, sits on Te Puke Creative Forum and the Te Puke Memorial Pool Committee.

The new community board will meet for the first time on November 14.