Glenys Glover B.Com, CA
Tasman District Councillor
I stood for the Tasman District Council because I had a real interest in good planning, particularly as it affected the community's connection with the environment. I also had the time and a family connection to serving the local community (my father had been a councillor and Deputy Mayor Richmond Borough Council during the 1970s).
The first term was very much a learning time, getting to grips with process, people, information flows and sub-committee structures. It was also a time to forge alliances that might be useful when it came to matters that I really wanted to influence. The second term was more a matter of taking these lessons and putting them into action. Certainly, I felt more influential in the second term.
I learnt that following the money was a quick way to understand some of the constraints that council operated under. In Resource Management Act issues I learnt that decisions were complex trade-offs between various interested parties. While I accepted climate change as a given, other councillors were still debating whether it was a relevant consideration when looking at long-term planning changes.
As a business owner and accountant, my experiences of the world were quite different from my colleagues. Blending in the strong community views with a commercial oversight was very challenging at times. In such circumstances the Chief Executive's experience and guidance was critical to ensuring good decision-making.
During my time I was one of three women on council, with the other ten councillors being men. There was a real effort by the then Mayor to find a balance between women representation on Council, their representation on sub-committees and the number of women voters in the community. A woman chaired the Community Services Committee, a very traditional appointment. More women councillors would have meant more influence, especially in the critical areas of finance and infrastructure management, representing 70% plus of total council costs.
This was published in: Women Decision-Makers Nelson and Tasman 1944 -2018, p. 33. Compiled by Dr Shelley Richardson, Elaine Henry, Gail Collingwood, Hilary Mitchell.
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