Stratford Press

Deputy mayor is up for challenge

Mayor: McKay will do ‘outstandin­g job’ for Stratford

- Ilona Hanne Disclaimer: Editor Ilona Hanne is married to the CEO of Stratford District Council

Asecond-term councillor is Stratford’s first female deputy mayor. Min McKay was appointed to the role by mayor Neil Volzke at last Tuesday’s inaugural meeting of the new Stratford District Council. Neil says he believes Min will “do an outstandin­g job”.

“I am only able to appoint one deputy mayor, and it is a decision I have given a lot of thought to. Min is a good fit and will complement and balance my skills and experience.”

In making his decision, Neil says he spoke to each of the councillor­s individual­ly.

“I listened to their views and aspiration­s, as well as speaking with a number of people outside of council to gather their views. I then weighed up the attributes of each potential candidate to enable me to make a balanced decision.”

Min will bring “plenty of energy and commitment” to the role, he says.

“I know we will make a strong team, and I look forward to working with Min along with all councillor­s and the community as a whole.”

Neil’s decision was then brought to council to be endorsed, a decision that was moved by councillor Grant Boyde and seconded by councillor John Sandford.

Boyde said he was “very happy” to endorse the decision, saying Min would do well in the role.

Sandford said Min had made a difference from day one of being on council.

“When you stepped in you came out with two guns blazing from day one: you turned this council around in its thinking, especially over the Māori wards.”

Min says she is “pleased” with her appointmen­t.

“While I knew Neil was considerin­g me for the role, I was certainly excited to be chosen. It is my pleasure to take on the role for the next three years.”

Min says she plans to “continue what I have been doing over the past term” when it comes to serving her community as councillor and now deputy mayor.

“It’s about being clear on my views and remaining consistent. I am also looking forward to taking on the added responsibi­lities that come with the role of deputy mayor.”

Min, who was elected unopposed in the urban ward in the recent local government election, says she hopes to “delve deeper” into waste minimisati­on over the next three years. “I think we are doing some great stuff on the surface, but we need to look deeper to do more.

“We pay for every tonne that goes to the landfill, so any reduction in the total amount is a saving for our ratepayers.”

The ongoing revitalisa­tion of Broadway is another area Min wants to see progress.

“It’s important we continue that work over the next three years and build on what has already been achieved.”

Reflecting on the previous term, Min says one of her proudest moments was the introducti­on of a Māori ward for Stratford.

“It was a really good experience to go through, and I learned a lot through the process. Plus, we got the outcome I have always wanted.”

With five new councillor­s, Min says her advice to the new elected members is simple.

“Know you have value to add to the conversati­on and be clear in stating your view, don’t let people talk over you.” Take it all in, she adds. “Be prepared to listen to all views even if you disagree with them, and form your own opinions.”

 ?? Photo / File ?? Min MacKay is the district’s first female deputy mayor.
Photo / File Min MacKay is the district’s first female deputy mayor.

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