Carterton mayor John Booth is the region’s only male mayor among four councils. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

GIANINA SCHWANECKE

gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

Wairarapa’s only male mayor bid a fond farewell at a leaving a ceremony on Wednesday.

Carterton mayor John Booth announced he would be stepping down at the end of his current term having served nine years on the Carterton District Council.

Close to 100 people turned out to the Carterton Event Centre for his farewell, including local business owners, council staff, current councillors, and friends and family.

Fellow mayors Tracey Collis [Tararua], Lyn Patterson [Masterton], Viv Napier [South Wairarapa] and GRWC representative Adrienne Staples also bid Booth farewell.

“We joke about John being surrounded by female mayors,” Napier said.

Booth joked he was the “rose among the thorns”, a fitting description as Carterton District Council chief executive Jane Davis presented him with a rose sculpture as a farewell gift.

He was praised for his dedication to the community and for being such a people-orientated mayor.

Seeing the Carterton Event Centre being built, growing the Charles Rooking Carter awards and building stronger council relationships with members of the Hurunui o Rangi Marae were listed as highlights during his two terms as mayor.

Booth thanked councillors and staff, as well as his friends and family for supporting them — special tribute was paid to his wife Julie Booth, and cousin Dick Booth, who served seven terms on council and encouraged Booth to run.

“It’s been quite a family effort this whole role and that’s why I’m stepping down, to spend more time with them,” he said.

“I’m not disappearing though.”

Booth recently took on a role at the Carterton Fire Station as an operational volunteer and was working on a project to assist those in need in the community.