Shattock to carry mandate
Jenny Shattock began as a daughter of the South Waikato and now she’s its mother.
Shattock, who was born in Putaruru and grew up in Tokoroa, is the district’s new mayor after a convincing win in the local body elections on Saturday.
She was 1100 votes ahead of her closest rival Tracey Deane with a total of 2972 votes after 98 per cent were counted.
After nine years as deputy, Shattock put her win down to experience.
‘‘I am absolutely thrilled and humbled because the people have certainly given us a mandate to carry on the work that has been happening because all sitting councillors got back in,’’ she said.
‘‘I think people saw the experience but we have got a balance and it is a really good council coming in.’’
She said rivals Deane, Alan Blair, and Jarrad Gallagher each brought strengths and all had to campaign hard for votes.
‘‘Everybody wanted the job. We all worked hard for it so I wish them well in their futures,’’ she said.
‘‘I must say I was quietly confident. I had to be because [the former council] had done some really good stuff and the majority of people recognise that.’’
Shattock said it was an exciting time to be leading the council.
‘‘The South Waikato is a cool place and one of the biggies I’d like to achieve over the three years is more jobs, youth participation, and youth recreation but also improving the South Waikato’s reputation.’’
She referred to herself as a ’’safe pair of hands’’ and said there will be no surprises with her leadership.
‘‘I am not going to make huge changes but there is one thing I did hear while campaigning and that is that people want to be heard,’’ she said.
‘‘I want to set up before each council meeting an open forum. It will only be for half an hour and it will be structured but people will be able to come in and talk to elected members.’’
Shattock said she she would like to thank her supporters.
‘‘Neil is a hard act to follow and I have really been privileged working with him but I am different,’’ she said.
‘‘I am a lot more practical and see things quite differently than he did but I am still strategic and always looking towards the future.’’