Mayor Kirsten Wise is the first local mayor to face a declared election challenger.
Hopefully each of the mayors will face an opponent. Simply because their jobs are crucial to our communities’ well-being and the challenges and issues ahead deserve the full debate a contested election should provide.
First term councillor Nigel Simpson, currently representing the Taradale ward, announced he will be standing in October’s election against Wise.
Simpson said in his announcement: ‘I entered local politics last election because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong in Napier City Council, after a short period inside I figured it out alright, that’s why I’m running for Mayor.
“Being Mayor is far more than just being the Mayor, it’s about providing appropriate long term collective strategic direction and leadership, certainty for staff, contractors and the community … Taking major items in and out of the long-term plan and having a considerable number of unbudgeted items is simply poor leadership and inappropriate governance of Napier, it’s time for change.”
And further: “…a significant number of opportunities have been missed by the current Council, it’s time to get Napier back on track. I care deeply about Napier and I believe most residents care too.
“Significant change will be forced on Local Government in the next few years and Napier needs a leader who has managed through previous change and is capable of leading a significant reset in our organisation and establishing an agile responsive new organisation.”
Councillor Simpson is presently deputy chair of NCC’s Sustainable Napier Committee and sits on the Audit and Risk Committee. He has a longstanding professional involvement in Civil Defence emergency management.