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Greathead latest mayoral contender

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The bid for Carterton’s mayoralty just heated up, with long-standing councillor Jill Greathead throwing her hat into the ring.

She joins fellow councillor Greg Lang who has already declared his intention to run. Mayor John Booth is expected to make an announcement about his intentions early next week.

After 18 years on the Carterton District Council, she said the time was finally right for her to consider standing for mayor as her youngest child had left home.

Advocating for a change in the way things are done was the other reason which motivated Greathead to run.

“I believe there needs to be a lot of change.”

Her campaign will focus on “putting communities in charge”, she said.

“I am looking forward to a campaign based on the spirit of democracy.

“I will listen to our people to understand their needs.

“I will be engaging with community to plan how we can put these needs into positive action during the next term of council”

She was also focused on localism, supporting Local Government New Zealand’s decentralisation project, LocalismNZ

“LocalismNZ is a way to make our communities resilient to make New Zealand strong. Where hierarchies become partnerships, and power and control are replaced by the spirit of service.”

She said she felt that the community was losing control through regulations and a “one size fits all approach” to running the country.

Targeting rates was also part of the reason Greathead decided to run, with a policy to “open the books and reduce costs”.

“We need to strengthen democracy to bring back community control. We need to instil compassion into the leadership of our communities. A move to values-based politics and fact-based decision-making will bring a much-needed change in culture.”

Greathead cited her experiences as a member of the Mangatarere Catchment Plan Project Team as leading to community-based decision-making.

“A similar approach would improve people’s trust in council decision-making,” she said.

Greathead also pledged to hold drop-in sessions from 7pm every Thursday at Heart of Arts [47 High St North, Carterton], from August 15 until election day on October 12.

New group forms to combat Carterton’s rates

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The Carterton councillor who resigned this year, is now a member of the group Rates Resistance Carterton, speaking up for residents about rates increases.

Tracey O’Callaghan. PHOTO/FILE

Tracey O’Callaghan resigned from the Carterton District Council in March, saying it was a matter of personal integrity.

She said she felt she “could not keep taking ratepayers’ money when she felt unable to make a positive difference”.

O’Callaghan said she did not intend to run for council again but hoped to advocate for residents through Rates Resistance Carterton alongside other members Jim Kettle, Craig Cherry, Paulette Harris, Ross Black and Simon Bognuda.

The group was launched to push for affordable rates and accountability when it comes to council spending.

“We were all hearing things in the community about rates,” O’Callaghan said. “It’s starting to resonate with people.”

She said when she was on council her questions about spending were often ignored as they were “operational” matters.

They have organised a public meeting for councillors to address ratepayers on August 20.

“With the local body elections getting close and public interest increasing, we thought it would be a good time to hold a public meeting, to give ‘the people’ a voice for their concerns and questions,” O’Callaghan said.

“We have been hearing that there are people really struggling with their rates and many are unsure how their rates are spent and the value they get.”

She said the event was primarily a chance for councillors to address concerns about what has happened but would also be an opportunity for council hopefuls to hear from the community.

“We want this to be constructive and to let council know what people want.”

The Tuesday, August 20, event will be held in the Carterton Events Centre at 7pm. Those looking to attend are asked to contact [email protected] by July 26.


  1. I don’t believe I have met anyone more passionate than Jill Greathead. She is a crusader with strong community beliefs. She is not afraid to stand up when it matters and will fight for the rights of people she represents. I have known Jill for nearly 20 years through business associations and can assure you her dynamic approach in dealing with issues is both eye catching and refreshing knowing that she is out in the Community batting for you.

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