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Even split on new council

By Hayley Gastmeier

[email protected]

The newly elected South Wairarapa District Council was sworn in yesterday at a meeting in Martinborough.

Newly elected South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier was sworn in yesterday. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
Newly elected South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier was sworn in yesterday. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

Viv Napier assumed the chair as South Wairarapa mayor and six fresh faces became councillors, along with three who had returned.

Margaret Craig and Colin Olds were re-elected back to the council table, as was Brian Jephson, who Mrs Napier appointed as deputy mayor.

New councillors include Paora Ammunson, Lee Carter, Colin Wright, Dayle Harwood, Pip Maynard and Pam Colenso.

Mrs Napier began her first meeting of the triennium by addressing the fact that her new council had a 50/50 gender split.

She acknowledged the wide age spread amongst councillors and said it was “representative of our community”.

“Also, I am very proud to be the mayor of a council that has two elected Maori and one elected Pacific Islander.

“I think that is pretty impressive from a small rural area, and I doubt there would be another council in New Zealand that has this amazing representation.”

Mrs Napier said New Zealand now consisted of 12 female mayors, two of which were in Wairarapa.

Mr Jephson was appointed as chairman to the Audit and Risk Working Party, and the Infrastructure and Planning Working Party.

He is also the chairman of the Sport NZ Rural Travel Fund Assessment Group.

Mrs Craig has been nominated as chairwoman of the Awards, Refurbishments and Gifts Working Party, and Mr Olds is Chairman of the Community Safety and Resilience Working Party.

SWDC’s next meeting is next Wednesday, October 26.


  1. It’s only for two years, not three as quoted. Lgc has decided that amalgamation between 3 councils is the way to go. Happy to be mole in Featherston, use as wish, acknowledgement would be $2500 a year. Pls advise.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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