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Geisler in bid for South Wairarapa mayoralty

Daphne Geisler addressing South Wairarapa District Council at a public meeting on rates in Martinborough last year. PHOTO/SUE TEODORO

Martinborough resident Daphne Geisler has confirmed her bid for South Wairarapa’s mayoralty in this year’s local body elections.

Geisler, who moved to Wairarapa in 2000 and runs an orchard, homestay, and retail business, said she would be vying for the position to deliver more opportunities for “collaboration and real conversations with the community”.

“The purpose of local government is to enable democratic local decision making and action by and behalf of communities to promote social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being,” she said.

“I believe an enabled community must have easy access to information, knowledge of accurate facts, and the ability to participate in ongoing conversations about our district.

“This has not happened in the past, and I will work with a new council to change things.”

Geisler was an outspoken critic of the miscommunicated rates increase last year and describes herself as “tenacious, passionate, smart, and determined”.

“My interest in contributing to my community dates to before the 2019 election; I understand the business of local government having attended and commented on issues at most council meetings since 2019.

“I will do my best, but no doubt I too will make mistakes, but I promise to listen and fix them.”

Geisler was a senior manager in a global financial services company where she developed a broad financial acumen and managed large budgets.

“After managing the organisation through mergers and significant changes, I later became a business consultant and change manager in the public sector.”

“During a period working at Mary Potter Hospice heading up fundraising, I discovered that when given the opportunity people have an amazing power to do good.”

The motto that would drive Geisler, if elected, is: “Ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi engari e toa takatini – mine is not the strength of an individual but of many”.

“There will be 10 people around the council table, there will be 12 community board members, and 10 Maori standing committee members with an amazing collective knowledge and experience to be drawn upon and a desire to serve this community.

“This term, I have seen councillors timid to debate, reluctant to ask questions and told to sit by the wall and be silent at public meetings; I have seen community board members intimidated and disrespected.

“This must stop. The strength of our community is the strength of many. Arrogance and ego have no place in our new council.”

She said she would welcome and expect healthy debate, interrogation of financials, clear and honest communications, prudent financial management, transparent rationale of decision-making, and a wide collaborative approach to issues.

“With the support of my fellow council members, decision-making will transparent, information shared, financials explained and detailed, meetings and workshops inclusive.

“I see so much more opportunity for collaboration and real conversations with the community.

“Just as I will be held to account, so will councillors, staff, suppliers, and business partners.”

Candidate nominations for local government elections open on July 15. Voting opens on September 16 and closes on October 8. Final results will be announced on October 14. — NZLDR

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