PSA boss en­ters Porirua race

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

There will be a may­oral race in Porirua af­ter all.

Last week it looked as if Euon Mur­rell would be the only can­di­date, in which case there would have been no elec­tion.

Since then five other con­tenders have put up their hands.

Mike Dun­can, from Ti­tahi Bay, who stood in 2010 and won 1104 votes, is in the mix again. He is joined by Gor­don Mar­shall, and for­mer deputy mayor Liz Kelly, who tried un­suc­cess­fully for the top job in 2007 and 2010.

David Watt, who is stand­ing on a ticket called Grow Porirua, Not the Coun­cil, will also be on the bal­lot.

A strong con­tender will be Mike Tana, who handed in his nom­i­na­tion form on Thursday. He rep­re­sents a le­git­i­mate chal­lenge to Mur­rell and comes with strong cre­den­tials, as pres­i­dent of the 62,000-mem­ber Pub­lic Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion, and a se­nior biose­cu­rity ad­viser for the Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries.

His role at the PSA ends in Septem­ber, and he said he was pre­pared to be­come a full­time mayor if elected.

‘‘It will mean a life­style change and I’d wel­come it,’’ he said.

Life has been far from set­tled for Tana, his wife Toni – a vet, who stood un­suc­cess­fully in Porirua’s Western ward in 2010 – and their five chil­dren of late.

He is on the road a lot for his re­spec­tive jobs and his chil­dren are based, for now, in Ro­torua, to be near his ail­ing fa­ther.

‘‘It isn’t easy but we’re mak­ing it work.’’

While he has no ex­pe­ri­ence as an elected mem­ber, Tana said his role in govern­ment, writ­ing strate­gic plans, work­ing as an ef­fec- tive head of an ex­ec­u­tive board with PSA, and con­nect­ing with peo­ple at all lev­els, held him in good stead.

Un­der­stand­ing lo­cal govern­ment pro­cesses and work­ing with elected coun­cil­lors and gen­eral man­agers was some­thing he would feel com­fort­able with, he said, al­though talk­ing with cur- rent mayor Nick Leggett about Porirua’s fu­ture was high on his pri­or­ity list.

Tana said strength­en­ing com­mu­ni­ties through vil­lage plan­ning, pro­tect­ing Porirua’s green spa­ces and pro­mot­ing events such as the Grand Tra­verse to get more vis­i­tors, and mod­ernising the city cen­tre, would be his pri­or­i­ties.

Porirua’s prospects when Trans­mis­sion Gully was built was also a key is­sue, he said.

Liz Kelly, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Porirua Whanau Cen­tre in Can­nons Creek, has the next most coun­cil ex­pe­ri­ence to Mur­rell, hav­ing served as a coun­cil­lor from 2004 to 2013. She was deputy mayor from 2010 to 2013.

Mike Tana is one of six stand­ing for the Porirua may­oralty.

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