PSA boss enters Porirua race
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.