Nelson City Councillor 1989 - 1992
During the mid-1980s I was involved in the Tahunanui Playgroup and its development into a community centre with its own building on Burrell Park, as well as being quite active in the Tahunanui community with the ratepayers group. Consequently, I had a lot to do with the Council, councillors and staff, and thought "I could do that!" In 1989 the Council elections were held in separate wards. I was elected for the Fifeshire Ward.
Following the 1989 election, Wards no longer existed.
Nelson had had women on Council for many years. In 1989 Jo Raine, Hilary Mitchell and I were the women councillors. Jo was already well-experienced, but I had a rapid learning experience.
The big issue at the time was the establishment of the ring road which included Selwyn Street passing the bottom of the Church Steps. This had been a strong election issue and the new councillors generally wanted to retain the gathering place at the top of Trafalgar Street for public activities. However, it was initially difficult to get a word in edgeways and I found a useful tactic was to raise points of order and procedural motions to filibuster the debate and get some points across.
As time progressed the practical experience of being on Council was purposeful and rewarding. I enjoyed being the Council representative on the Nelson Provincial Arts Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau and attending a women councillors' conference. Two of us were even flown to Wellington by Peter Malone in his little plane - a hair-raising experience.
In 1992 I put my name forward for Council again and missed out. I had returned to full-time employment by then and I did not have the time needed to continue.
This was published in: Women Decision-Makers Nelson and Tasman 1944 -2018, p.44. Compiled by Dr Shelley Richardson, Elaine Henry, Gail Collingwood, Hilary Mitchell.
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Further sources - Judy Greer
- Richardson, S., Henry, E., Collingwood, G. Mitchell, H. (2018). Women decision-makers Nelson and Tasman 1944-2018. Nelson, New Zealand