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‘Sister act’ down south

Martinborough voters seeing double

Pip Maynard, left, and Mel Maynard were both successful local body elections. PHOTO/ELI HILL


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It was a great weekend for the Maynard family in Martinborough.

Pip Maynard was elected to council as ward representative, while her sister Mel joined the community board.

The twins are fifth-generation town residents and live in the area.

It is far from their first appointment with the South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC].

Pip was returned to her role on Saturday, and Mel has worked for SWDC in the past.

And as teenagers, both sisters were appointed as town criers by then-mayor John Garrity.

“It’s really special. Melanie and I have been promoting and endorsing the South Wairarapa since we were 15.

“We were inaugurated into the council then. Talk about coming full cycle!”

Attendees to community board meetings could be forgiven for seeing double over the next three years.

Mel said, “the heart of Martinborough has always been its community and its people who are here. That community feeling and how we look after each other is what has drawn other people here.”

Mel will not be the only twin at the board table.

Fellow new board member Nathan Fenwick, a lifelong friend of the Maynards, has a twin brother, and newcomer Michael Honey a twin sister, Maynard said.

She said being a twin was a benefit.

“You automatically know how to think outside yourself and for someone else, and what happens to them.

I actually think that being a twin, in and of itself, is a strength.”

Aidan Ellims, the fourth member of the new community board, said he was looking forward to “interesting times” for the board but said “obviously, I’m going to be the odd one out!”

Martinborough was the only ward to return its existing representatives – Maynard, previous deputy mayor Brian Jephson and Pam Colenso.

Jephson took third ahead of Daphne Geisler, who earned plaudits from locals for her Count Me In campaign and blog, and Jason Jackson.

Garrick Emms and Brenda West are the two new councillors to the Featherston ward, joining Ross Vickery.

This will be Vickery’s first full term. He replaced Dayle Harwood in 2018.

Two-term ward councillor Colin Olds was beaten into fourth place.

“I want to thank you all for allowing me to serve my community over the past two terms on council,” Olds posted on Facebook.

“While this is a challenging role it also has its rewards. I will continue my commitment to our community through the various groups that I am involved with.  To the new mayor and councillors, I wish you all the very best for the future of our district.”

Olds worked with Rebecca Fox on Greater Wellington’s Ruamahanga Whaitua committee.

Fox topped the provisional polls in Greytown.

“I’ve got to go out there and carry on the conversations and make sure I keep the conversations going and get the information back. Because you can’t work in a vacuum and you can’t expect people to support you if you don’t give them the information.”

She will be joined on council by Alistair Plimmer and Leigh Hay. Hay was previously chair of the town’s community board.

Officials are sworn in on October 30, with informal events and training workshops ahead of the ceremony.

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