Nelson City Councillor 1998 - 2004
I served as a Nelson City Councillor for six years from 1998 to 2004. The Mayor during that time was Paul Matheson, the Deputy Mayor was Jo Raine and later Gail Collingwood. Approximately half of the elected councillors were women.
I feel fortunate to have been a councillor when the focus was on building infrastructure. At that time the Tantragee Water Treatment Plant was a major project. The cost was $26 million then and to build it now would be in the region of $48 million. One of the highlights was standing on a ledge to the left of the dam spillage zone and seeing tons of water cascading down. There was a great sense of fulfilment at seeing a vital project completed. Another highlight was being welcomed onto the Whakatu Marae by local iwi. Motivated to stand for council by Nelson's natural environment amongst its other assets, I wanted a part in protecting and enhancing this beautiful city.
Being a city councillor also made me very aware of the importance of council management and staff who prepare and produce the information and recommendations that are key to the decision-making of councillors.
The role of councillor requires commitment and is a great responsibility as you are there to serve the city. Much time is required to read documents and attend meetings. I was fortunate to have an understanding and supportive family.
At the close of my second term I needed to concentrate more on my business, The Nelson Market, and decided not to stand for Council as I felt I could not do justice to both. Being elected a Nelson City Councillor was a great privilege and experience. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to contribute to the direction of our wonderful city.
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 - Nita Knight
- Richardson, S., Henry, E., Collingwood, G. Mitchell, H. (2018). Women decision-makers Nelson and Tasman 1944-2018. Nelson, New Zealand