Ten candidates lining up for two seats in the west
The battle for two council seats in Porirua’s west could come down to the wire.
Prior to the 2013 election, the Western ward - covering Kenepuru, Elsdon, part of the city centre, Takapuwahia and Titahi Bay - had three councillors.
Reducing this to two meant a ward that had always had plenty of nominations, was suddenly even more hard fought come election time. Statistics from the last two elections show about 5,500 votes are cast in the west.
‘Ana Coffey and Ken Douglas had a monopoly of late, but the latter’s retirement after six terms has opened the door for a fresh face.
Along with Coffey, nine other names give voters plenty of choice. Two of them include Graeme Ebbett, who is standing for the fifth time, and Henry Smith, a councillor from 2007 to 2010.
Mike Duncan is standing for the mayoralty as well as the Western ward.
Candidates have a varied set of life and business skills, including in health and management, youth and social work, sport, journalism and connections with Ngati Toa.
Coffey, deputy mayor this term, is not taking for granted the fact she is an incumbent and has name recognition.
‘‘It’ll be a good contest,’’ she said. ‘‘There are communityminded people [on the ballot] with some great skills they can bring to the council. I’ve got my work cut out for me.’’
Water quality, footpaths, the cycleway, beach access and crime were some of the issues that candidates felt were important in the coming triennium.