Murrell one week away from mayoralty
The four-term councillor and chairman of Porirua City Council’s Te Komiti is the only person to announce his candidacy for the Porirua mayoralty, vacated by Nick Leggett.
If his is the only nomination, he automatically becomes mayor, according to Porirua City Council.
Six years ago, when Jenny Brash stood aside, there were nine candidates for the city’s top job. This time, despite an empty mayoral seat, there is only one confirmed candidate.
The closing date for nominations for councillors and mayoralty candidates is this Friday, August 12.
Murrell, who has been endorsed by Leggett and Mana MP Kris Faafoi, said it was a weird feeling having no opposition at this point.
‘‘There’s a chance I’m going to be standing unopposed, but I’m taking nothing for granted,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m standing back and waiting. I have my billboards and pamphlets ready, but I may not need to go the whole hog yet [if no one else stands].’’
Only one mayoral candidate from the past two elections was yet to confirm if she was or was not standing.
Former deputy mayor Liz Kelly, who lost her Western ward seat in 2013, said she had not decided yet.
‘‘I’m talking to people who matter to me and once we’ve had that conversation, I’ll decide,’’ she said.
‘‘I’ve said [since 2013] ‘never again’, but I still have a vision for Porirua that I hope to see fulfilled.’’
Russell Marshall and Litea Ah Hoi, who stood in 2010, Brian Collins, who stood in 2010 and the last election in 2013, all said they would not be standing. Ah Hoi laughed when contacted.
‘‘I’ve been there and done that and I’m not even standing for council this time,’’ she said.
Murrell, who is 68, said he would welcome competition for the job, debating issues that matter to people in Porirua. Rates, Transmission Gully’s effect on the city and the CBD upgrade are important in the coming triennium, he said.
He envisaged himself as mayor for a maximum of two terms.
‘‘I firmly believe I’m the right person and can build some momentum, making sure Porirua is in a solid state.
‘‘I know the systems that council operate in and that’s a big advantage, because a new person [without council experience] will find it extremely frustrating.
Murrell said he would not endorse any councillors standing.
Successful councillor and mayoral candidates are announced on October 8.
Euon Murrell may stand uncontested as Porirua mayor.