Who wants to be Porirua’s mayor?

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

Euon Murrell could be­come the next mayor of Porirua on Fri­day and that’s an em­bar­rass­ment.

Aside from for­mer coun­cil­lor and deputy mayor Liz Kelly, who has kept her head be­low the para­pet these past three years, no vi­able can­di­date has shown them­selves with just days to go be­fore nom­i­na­tions close.

Kelly is a only ‘‘maybe’’, so Murrell is so far fac­ing no com­pe­ti­tion. This means there could be no may­oral elec­tion this year.

Lo­cal body pol­i­tics ei­ther gets peo­ple chat­ting about or sends peo­ple to sleep.

If more than 40 per cent of res­i­dents in Porirua vote in Septem­ber, it will be a mir­a­cle. We had fin­gers crossed that on­line vot­ing would come in and boost the num­bers, es­pe­cially among the gen­er­ally ap­a­thetic young crowd, but the hand­brake has been put on that.

A half-de­cent may­oral race can get the en­thu­si­asm quo­tient up.

The fact Murrell looks set to stand un­op­posed is be­wil­der­ing. You would have ex­pected that once the all-pow­er­ful Nick Leggett stood aside, the suit­ors for the may­oral chains would be sharp­en­ing their claws.

Murrell, Leggett’s anointed suc­ces­sor, is ex­pe­ri­enced, speaks his mind and is a ca­pa­ble leader, but his ‘‘steady as she goes, let’s not rock the boat, keep calm and carry on’’ mind­set must turn some peo­ple cold.

In the past, the likes of Gre­gory For­tuin and Rus­sell Mar­shall, who once held high pro­files, were vi­able can­di­dates. Even Litea Ah Hoi, a dominant force and a shoo- in as a coun­cil­lor in the East­ern ward, won thou­sands of may­oral votes in the past.

But they are all oth­er­wise oc­cu­pied in 2016.

Who does that leave? Surely in a city of more than 54,000, there must be some­one. We asked Wil­lie Tau­rima, who re­cently left his job as the man­ager of recre­ation at Te Rau­paraha Arena, whether he was in­ter­ested, but he said ‘‘no, thanks’’.

Is Murrell un­beat­able? No way. He’s a coun­cil­lor, through and through, and will com­mand votes in the north­ern part of Porirua, but there must some­one from the largely Maori and Pa­cific East­ern ward who would make a suit­able al­ter­na­tive.

It’s a tough ask to op­pose Murrell, es­pe­cially at this late stage. Res­i­dents re­ceive vot­ing pa­pers next month.

Hope­fully some­one no­table has the courage to put them­selves for­ward this week and Murrell is chal­lenged on his views about where Porirua should be head­ing.

Who wants to see a one-horse race?

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