May­oral losers pon­der their fu­ture

Some may be back

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Now the the lo­cal body elec­tions are done and dusted for an­other three years, what be­comes of those may­oral can­di­dates who failed in their bid to lead Porirua City?

Will they tackle the is­sues they cam­paigned on in other ways? Will they go quiet un­til 2013 or are they done with pol­i­tics?

Litea Ah Hoi has al­ready pub­licly stated this is her last term on coun­cil, af­ter eas­ily win­ning back her seat in the East­ern ward. She said she was ‘‘re­lieved’’ when the may­oralty race was all over and she could con­cen­trate on the chal­lenges of the the com­ing tri­en­nium.

Ms Ah Hoi felt out­go­ing mayor Jenny Brash’s back­ing of may­or­elect Nick Leggett made a huge dif­fer­ence.

‘‘I was rapt that I polled sec­ond, you’ve got to be philo­soph­i­cal about these things.’’

Fourth-placed Liz Kelly says she was ‘‘re­ally happy’’ with the cam­paign she ran and the re­turn of more than 1700 votes. In 2007 Ms Kelly showed her hand quite early but was one of the last to an­nounce can­di­dacy this time – which she ad­mits may have worked against her.

‘‘I did come out quite late, but I did the hard yards in the time I had and I learnt a lot. I was well­pre­pared at the can­di­date meet­ings and gave my­self a good chance but the vot­ers ob­vi­ously thought Nick was the one for the job. I’m glad it was him over the oth­ers and I’ve said I will sup­port him. What you have to re­alise though is that be­ing on coun­cil is big­ger than him or I – it’s about us all work­ing to­gether to take this city for­ward and I’ve got a good feel­ing about ev­ery­one around the ta­ble.’’

Ms Kelly is un­sure of whether to take a third punt at the may­oralty in 2013, keep­ing her cards close to her chest for now.

Rus­sell Mar­shall was dev­as­tated with his fifth plac­ing in the may­oralty race, with Liz Kelly and Gre­gory For­tuin above him. He says this was his one and only tilt at the job and while dis­ap­pointed, he be­lieves Mr Leggett ‘‘has the abil­ity to en­hance the city’s cred­i­bil­ity’’.

‘‘I know a great deal more about Porirua now than I did be­fore, and I re­ally en­joyed be­ing out there. Peo­ple were very good and I learned a lot, I came home with tales to tell most days. I thought it would be eas­ier [to win votes] in Porirua East and I’m re­ally wor­ried about the ap­a­thetic en­vi­ron­ment that we’re in.’’

Along with fin­ish­ing his mem­oirs and re­search­ing an­other book on New Zealand war graves over­seas, Mr Mar­shall is chair­ing the Rob­son Hanan Trust, which will ad­dress crime and jus­tice is­sues, and will con­tinue in roles with Whi­tireia Com­mu­nity Polytech­nic and the New Zealand In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs.

Mike Dun­can said the elec­tion was ‘‘a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence’’ and was sat- is­fied with his sixth plac­ing.

‘‘That’s my one foray, I won’t be do­ing it again. It was good fun and I’ll set­tle with my 1100 votes. Nick should be in there, he’s got the right at­ti­tude, but he has some big chal­lenges in front of him.’’

Mr Dun­can says STV is ‘‘ a waste of time’’, a sys­tem that is dis­en­fran­chis­ing vot­ers, and also looks for­ward to it be­ing re­viewed.

Brian Collins fin­ished a lack­lus­tre sev­enth in the fi­nal tally, de­spite hav­ing said pub­licly it would be a ‘‘ two-horse race’’ be­tween him­self and Mr Leggett. He said his show­ing was ‘‘dis­ap­point­ing’’.

‘‘The vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who had the chance to use their demo­cratic right chose not to. They felt there was noth­ing in it for them, noth­ing would change. Nick came out and said [ in post-elec­tion me­dia in­ter­views] he had the ‘man­date’ of the peo­ple but the man is a fool if he thinks that get­ting 14.6 per cent of the vote is an over­whelm­ing man­date.’’

Mr Collins has promised to con­tinue to write letters to the edi­tor of Kapi-Mana News, chal­leng­ing Porirua City Coun­cil where he feels it war­rants. He has not ruled out run­ning again in three years.

Piripi Gray says he ‘‘ didn’t care’’ where he polled – for the record it was sec­ond-to-bot­tom – say­ing it was a plat­form for him to push for a ‘‘fair deal’’ for Maori.

‘‘I’m not dis­ap­pointed, I’ll keep on keep­ing on. I con­sider it an hon­our to run [for coun­cil and the may­oralty] and I will stand in 2013, some­one has to.

‘‘ All you get from these can­di­dates is the same thing and noth­ing ever changes. At least I say things hon­estly and I speak for the un­der­belly that keeps this city alive.’’

Al­though un­em­ployed, Mr Gray says he will con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for any­one who is be­ing treated un­fairly by Work & In­come or Hous­ing New Zealand.

Peter Windsor, who was well at the rear of the pack, says he will likely give the may­oralty race an­other go in three years’ time.

‘‘It’s hard to go up against a po­lit­i­cal ma­chine like Nick [Leggett] had, es­pe­cially for some­one like me, who has lit­tle money be­hind him.’’

Mr Windsor says re­tir­ing mayor Jenny Brash’s en­dorse­ment of Mr Leggett with about four weeks to go was cru­cial and he con­demned the move, say­ing an out­go­ing mayor should ‘‘ not in­ter­fere with the po­lit­i­cal process’’.

He is cer­tain the peo­ple of Porirua are go­ing to face a con­tin­ual in­crease in rates un­der the new mayor. He has a cou­ple of books in the works, has his house up for sale, but hopes to stay in the area.

Third-place fin­isher Gre­gory For­tuin did not re­turn our calls.

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