Deputy Mayor will not change
Wanaka councillor Lyal Cocks will continue to be Lakes District deputy mayor, Mayor Vanessa van Uden has confirmed ahead of the council’s first meeting. Mr Cocks has been deputy since 2010 but the highest-polling Wanaka candidate was Calum MacLeod and the highest-polling candidate for the council was Cath Gilmour. Ms van Uden said she carefully considered the three candidates who expressed an interest in the role. "In a large district like ours, it’s important to have a balance of representation between the mayor and the deputy mayor, and Lyal Cocks represents the Wanaka and Upper Clutha community very well. "The role of deputy mayor also requires a districtwide perspective and my experience is that Lyal is able to take the wider view as well as advocating for his local constituency. "The working relationship between the mayor and deputy is very important and experience plus understanding of local issues are also significant factors." Mr Cocks, a councillor since 2007 and past chairman of Wanaka Community Board, said the main consideration was getting the new council up and running. "That’s a key one right now. For Wanaka, we are well down the track of keeping the momentum going for sports facilities. "We also have a lot issues to sort out for infrastructure for some of the smaller communities. We all have to work together even though we may not always agree on issues." Other considerations included the continuing district plan review and the debate around a Queenstown convention centre, he said. The council holds its first meeting on Friday at the Lake Hayes pavilion at 5pm.
Back in role: Lyal Cocks will continue in his role as Queenstown Lakes deputy mayor, despite not being the highest polling candidate in this year’s elections.