At least three new faces for Northern ward
Candidates in Porirua’s Northern ward have a lot to play for this local body election
The more than 21,000 voters in this part of the city - incorporating Whitby, Paremata, Papakowhai, Pauatahanui, Judgeford, Plimmerton, Hongoeka and Pukerua Bay - will have the job of electing at least three new names to the city council.
Anita Baker, from Whitby, is the only incumbent in the fourseat ward that is standing for reelection. Tim Sheppard and Bronwyn Kropp have retired, while Euon Murrell is only having a tilt at the mayoralty.
There are no shortage of candidates to replace them - 13 names will be on the ballot.
Only the Eastern ward has more with 14 candidates.
Former three-term mayor of Otorohanga District Council Dale Williams has the most civic experience, although Brian Collins (mayoralty) and Keryn Martin (councillor) have stood in previous elections.
Other candidates are a former head of Porirua Rotary and Porirua Chamber of Commerce Don Casagranda, Whitby Residents’ Association vicechairman Phil Dyer, teacher and NZEI representative Dianne Khan, businessman Andrew Wellum, former Chief Ombuds- man Beverley Wakem, IT worker and community volunteer Sarah Piper, former senior manager Ross Leggett, commercial construction company owner Barry McEwen and Whitby New World liquor manager Nathan Waddle.
Issues the candidates say are important include traffic, better business opportunities, updating infrastructure, housing, Transmission Gully and the health of the harbour.
The Northern ward tradition- ally has the highest voter turnout in local elections. While the overall turnout in Porirua decreased from 39 per cent of eligible voters in 2010 to 37 per cent in 2013, residents in the north were more diligent than their western and eastern counterparts.
Forty percent of Northern ward voters filled out the form in 2013, casting about 6200 votes, compared to 36 per cent in the Western ward and 33 per cent in the Eastern ward.