Carterton’s new mayor Greg Lang and his wife Ali Lang attended the Gladstone Family Hunting Competition over the weekend. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Greg Lang’s third term will see him return to the Carterton District Council as its new mayor.
The Gladstone wheelwright replaces former Carterton mayor John Booth who announced he would not be running in August.
Lang announced his bid for the mayoralty in April and said he was stoked when he got the call on Saturday afternoon to say he had won.
To celebrate, he and wife Ali spent the weekend helping at the Gladstone Family Hunting Competition.
Of his newly elected council members, Lang said they had the potential to make a good team.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “We’ve got great diversity and some youth representation.”
His vision for the next three years included collaborating more closely with neighbouring district councils.
“My vision is to be as clever as we can be. To make the district affordable but also have enterprise and talent coming through.”
He wasted no time in “connecting the dots” and had already spoken with neighbouring mayors, South Wairarapa’s Alex Beijen and Masterton’s Lyn Patterson.
“I really look forward to collaborating with the other two councils and making Wairarapa a fantastic place to live,” Lang said.
He had been running against fellow councillor Jill Greathead and newcomers Graeme Farr and Bernard Bottrill.
Lang received 1854 votes compared to Greathead’s 1311 in the preliminary results.
However, Greathead received the highest number of votes for a council position with 1999 in her favour.
Greathead, who has been on council since 2001, said she was happy with the weekend’s results.
With 21 candidates for council, voters had plenty of choice and she thought this was a contributing factor.
Although she had often found herself at odds with the previous council, she said it would be helpful to have a few experienced councillors.
“It’s good to have new people along too.”
The popularity of first-time runner Steffen Bertram, who received the second highest number of votes at 1914, showed there was clear concern from the community about rates affordability, she said.
“I think the community has clearly spoken.”
There are a few new faces on the Carterton District Council following Saturday’s preliminary election results.
Newcomers included Bertram, Robyn Cherry-Campbell, Rob Stockley and Steve Cretney.
Rebecca Vergunst and Brian Deller were voted in for their second term and Booth’s deputy mayor Russell Keys is set to serve his third.
Ruth Carter, Carterton’s longest serving councillor with eight terms under her belt, was ousted however.
“I’m just grateful to have been able to serve the community for so many years,” she said. “It’s been fantastic.”
She was proud of the “little things” she had accomplished as councillor, as well as larger projects like the Carterton Events Centre and wastewater treatment plant.
“The biggest thing has been the library and watching it grow,” she said.
“Just being available to the community, I’ll miss that. I’ll still listen but I might not be able to do anything.”
Her advice to the new councillors was to listen to the “special community” they were tasked with representing.
This result is based upon the preliminary results and does not include special votes.
Of the 3916 votes counted, this year’s voter return was noticeably higher with a 56.3 per cent return, compared to 52.3 per cent in the 2016 local government election.