Nelson City Councillor 1974 - 1986 and Deputy Mayor 1980 - 1986
Patricia (Pat) Tindle began a twelve-year tenure on the Nelson City Council, in 1974, aged 37. By 1980, as a top-polling Councillor, she was elevated to the role of deputy mayor, the second woman to hold the position on the Nelson City Council since Betsy Eyre, nine years earlier. She held the position until 1986.
In 1974 locally born and raised Pat brought with her to the council a community-minded spirit and skills gleaned in the local Playcentre movement and administrative work. Also involved in the local netball community and the Catholic Church, she was described by friends as having a lively, caring personality. Nelson Photo News records that in 1970 Pat competed in the Mrs New Zealand contest as a representative of Wakapuaka.1
During her time on the Nelson City Council Pat served on twenty different committees or local bodies and chaired two: the Traffic Committee (1977-1980) and the Administration Committee (1983-1986). On the Finance Committee for six years, she earned a reputation as a stickler for checking the accuracy of financial figures provided to her, and was known more generally for her efficiency and practicality. Her other activities on the council included public relations, membership of the Arts Council and the Nelson Disabled Committee. She aimed to represent a wide variety of perspectives on the Council, especially those of young people and women.
Pat advised new councillors, especially those who were women, to ensure that they kept themselves well-informed on all council issues so that they could not be tripped up by councillors with opposing views. She remarked in a newspaper interview in January 1986 that she thought it 'was a fair comment to say that women in local government have to work doubly hard to get their point across' and could feel isolated on local bodies.2 She supported the idea of an affirmative-action style workshop proposed by Auckland Mayor Dame Cath Tizard in 1986 for newly-elected councillors and intending candidates. In Pat's view, women should hold fifty percent of the seats on local councils and voters needed to play their part in achieving this ideal.
Patricia Tindle's tenure on the Nelson City Council came to an end in 1986. She relocated to Te Awamutu where she continued her local government career on the Waipa District Council, as a representative of the Te Awamutu ward. There she became a keen heritage advocate and served on the local museum trust. She died in Te Awamutu in September 2010, aged 73. (1937-2010)
This was published in: Women Decision-Makers Nelson and Tasman 1944 -2018, p. 43. Compiled by Dr Shelley Richardson, Elaine Henry, Gail Collingwood, Hilary Mitchell
Sources used in this story
- Nelson Photo News, no.16, 27 June 1970, p.27
- 'Few Councillors to attend seminar', Nelson Evening Mail, 10/1/1986
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Further sources - Patricia Tindle
- Richardson, S., Henry, E., Collingwood, G. Mitchell, H. (2018). Women decision-makers Nelson and Tasman 1944-2018. Nelson, New Zealand