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GWRC seeking more diversity


GWRC urges people to put their hand up for council. PHOTO/FILE

Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] is urging people to add their voices to the regional council by standing in October’s local body elections.

Wairarapa has only one candidate who has put her hand up so far, current GWRC deputy chair Adrienne Staples.

At the time of publication, there were no candidates listed for any district in the region on GWRC’s website.

However, some Wellington people have signalled on social media that they intend to stand.

GWRC Chief Executive Nigel Corry said the council wanted to encourage more people to seek nomination and would welcome greater diversity in our council chambers.

“There’s a place for everyone.”

A 2020 Local Government New Zealand survey taken after the 2019 local government elections found that the face of local government was changing.

More than 41 per cent of successful candidate respondents stood for their first time in 2019, compared with 27 per cent who debuted in the 2016 elections.

Maori elected members increased to 13.5 per cent in 2019, from just 5 per cent in 2007, the survey said.

Maori elected members were also likely to be younger than non-Maori, and female.

The survey showed women were moving into more influential roles, with 21 of 78 mayors across the nation being female.

Corry said it was vital that the trend towards councils that “truly reflect” the communities they represented.

“We are looking for a broad spectrum of nominations. All voices are valuable

GWRC councillors represent constituencies from Kapiti Coast, Porirua-Tawa, Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, and Wairarapa.

Corry said councillors worked together on region-wide issues.

“They are at the forefront of change on key services such as delivering public transport, protecting and enhancing the environment, managing flood protection, enhancing water quality, safeguarding our water supply and responding to climate change.

“In short, they are at the centre of the big issues that matter to the people of the region.”

Nominations opened on July 15 and close at 12pm on August 12.

Further information for GWRC candidates can be found at www.giveyourvoice.co.nz.

The site contains GWRC’s interactive pre-election report for 2022, which it said was essential reading for all potential candidates.

It said the report provided a profile of the region and the services offered by GWRC, as well as detail on the initiatives planned by the council to address the key challenges facing the region and how they will be funded.

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