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Farr out … Standing for all three mayoralties

Farr says: spend $640 million on the tunnel

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It’s the election surprise no one saw coming – Graeme Farr is vying for all three mayoralties in the Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa Districts.

“I believe I’m standing for the most mayoralties in New Zealand,” he said.

Farr, a Wellington-based architectural graduate, is running under the ticket slogan ‘Vote for the Tunnel’.

The tunnel he’s asking people to get in behind is the development of one linking Wairarapa to Upper Hutt under the Remutaka Range.

“How have we not managed to build a road tunnel to Wairarapa in 50 years? Sixty-five years ago, we could build a 9km tunnel for rail so why can’t we build one a third of the length now,” he asked.

He’s hoping his campaign for three mayoralties will raise the profile of the issue and get people thinking about it.

“I’m trying to get awareness for the Remutaka Hill tunnel.”

Farr likens the potential tunnel to Auckland’s Waterview tunnel which is 2.4km long and takes just minutes to go through.

He said the tunnel would shorten the Remutaka journey to just six minutes.

“It would be two twin 12-metre dual-lane tunnels using the 1967 Ministry of Works route.

“The approach road on the Kaitoke side does not go up the rugged existing road valley but goes up a smoother, wider valley to the north.”

Asked what he’d do if he were elected mayor in one of the three districts, he said he wasn’t really sure.

“I don’t expect to win but I hope people will show some interest [in the tunnel],” he said.

“Rather than voting for me, they’re voting for the tunnel.”

Part of the reason he decided to campaign at this year’s election was the ‘Let’s Get Wellington Moving’ plan announced by the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Farr said he felt the funding allocation was unequal.

“There is $6.4 billion announced for transport in Wellington. Wairarapa has 10 per cent of the region’s population — let’s spend our $640 million on a tunnel.”

There are no conditions which prevent people from standing in multiple districts or in those they don’t live in.

Wairarapa electoral officer Warwick Lampp said he had heard of a candidate running for two neighbouring districts but never for three.

Election 2019 – late rush boosts candidate count



[c=current mayor] – Cory Burling; Graeme Farr; Tina Nixon; Lyn Patterson – c


10 vacancies [c=current councillor] – Gary Caffell – c; Deborah Davidson – c; Brent [BG] Gare; Carys Gibbs; David Holmes; Jonathan Hooker – c; Peter James; Bex Johnson – c; Ronald Karaitiana; Donna Laing; John Lapslie; Britt Leveridge; Frazer Mailman – c; Graham McClymont – c; Isabella McClymont; Tim Nelson; Tina Nixon; Chris Peterson – c; Sandy Ryan; David [Tubs] Wright



Bernard Bottrill; Graeme Farr; Jill Greathead; Greg Lang


8 vacancies [c=current councillor] – Dalina Armstrong; Steffen Bertram; Bernard Bottrill; Roger Boulter; Ruth Carter – c; Robyn Cherry-Campbell; Steve Cretney; Brian Deller – c; John Fairbrother; Jill Greathead – c; Jenna Hagan; Russell Keys – c; Doug Mende; Hank Optland; Mike Osborne; Marty Sebire; Ron Shaw; Rob Stockley; Rebecca Vergunst – c; Justus Verheij; Dale Williams

South Wairarapa District Council


[c=current mayor] – Alex Beijen; Lee Carter; Graeme Farr; Dayle Harwood; Viv Napier – c

Council candidates

Total 9 vacancies

Greytown Ward

3 vacancies – James Bicknell; Rebecca Fox; Leigh Hay; Alistair Plimmer; Warren Woodgyer

Featherston Ward

3 vacancies [c=current councillor] – Lee Carter – c; Garrick Emms; Colin Olds – c; Ross Vickery – c; Brenda West

Martinborough Ward

3 vacancies [c=current councillor] – Pam Colenso – c; Daphne Geisler; Jason Jackson; Brian Jephson – c; Pip Maynard – c

Greytown Community Board

4 vacancies – Graeme Gray; Ann Rainford; Shelley Symes

Featherston Community Board

4 vacancies [c=current councillor] – Claire Bleakley – c; Indigo Freya; Mark Shepherd

Martinborough Community Board

4 vacancies – Aidan Ellims; Nathan Fenwick; Penny Hobden; Michael Honey; Mel Maynard; Peter McKeown; Alex Wall


  1. Bugger a road tunnel. Hill is no obstacle for the locals. A tunnel would only lead to overpopulation of the Wairarapa. We are our own Provence not little Wellington. Forget about a tunnel. Best thing govt of the day did was saying no to road tunnel.

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