Vot­ers ‘de­luded’ in choices


Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

A Wanaka coun­cil­lor who missed out on a seat at the weekend’s elec­tions says the re­gion’s vot­ers are de­luded. Wanaka vot­ers sig­nalled a mood for change with two new Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil­lors and new Wanaka Com­mu­nity Board mem­bers elected. Deputy mayor Lyal Cocks is the only re­turn­ing Wanaka coun­cil­lor, with long-serv­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jude Batt­son and Leigh Over­ton los­ing their seats to new­com­ers Calum MacLeod and Ella Law­ton. Two new faces, Rachel Brown and Ross McRo­bie, will join in­cum­bents Bryan Lloyd and Mike O’Con­nor on the com­mu­nity board. Ms Batt­son said she was very dis­ap­pointed to poll fourth, nar­rowly miss­ing out on a sec­ond term at the coun­cil ta­ble. ‘‘The peo­ple are de­luded. [High­est polling can­di­date] Calum MacLeod had one agenda item – the sports fa­cil­ity. Be­ing a coun­cil­lor is about the whole com­mu­nity for a lot of rea­sons. I don’t be­lieve he’s the right per­son for the job,’’ she said. In­stead, she stood for ‘‘the stuff that mat­ters - the in­fra­struc­ture and spend­ing to take our­selves 30 years into the fu­ture.’’ She thought Mr MacLeod would be good for a pop­u­lar­ity award. ‘‘This is not a joke and he is a joker,’’ she said. Mr MacLeod said had served a term on the com­mu­nity board about 12 years ago but the Cin­ema Par­adiso owner ac­cepted he would need to ‘‘get up to speed.’’ He had pre­dom­i­nantly cam- paigned on plans for a new sports cen­tre for Wanaka and while the de­sign work was still be­fore coun­cil, he planned to be in­volved. ‘‘One of the ma­jor things is to rise above the per­sonal is­sues to per­form for the area, pre­dom­i­nantly for the Up­per Clutha but also the dis­trict as a whole. ‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing times. There could be a huge change of di­rec­tion.’’ New­comer Ella Law­ton said the changes were good. ‘‘I think there’s an op­por­tu­nity here to look at new ways that Wanaka can op­er­ate along­side Queen­stown and op­er­ate in terms of our eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.’’ Mr Cocks said some of the coun­cil’s good work, such as a zero rates in­crease for this fi­nan­cial year, were over­shad­owed by other is­sues in Wanaka this year. Hot topics have in­cluded the coun­cil’s re­struc­tur­ing and its im­pli­ca­tions for the lo­cal li­brary, a sug­ges­tion Wanaka should break away from Queen­stown for lo­cal gov­er­nance and a new sports fa­cil­ity. Af­ter two terms as a Wanaka Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber and three as a coun­cil­lor, Leigh Over­ton was dis­ap­pointed but not sur­prised to miss out this elec­tion. ‘‘Wanaka has been a strange place over the last few months. there’s been a lot of griz­zling. It’s not the happy re­laxed place it tra­di­tion­ally has been,’’ he said.

Ella Law­ton

Calum MacLeod

Lyal Cocks

Bryan Lloyd 2090 (elected)

Rachel Brown 2158 (elected)

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