New mayor, seats for Tamahere candidates

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Preliminary election results show that Allan Sanson is the new Waikato mayor and two of the four Tamahere people standing for other local bodies were successful.

New Waikato Mayor Allan Sanson

In the Waikato, Tamahere ward councillor Wally Hayes was elected unopposed but in a three-way race for the Waikato mayoralty, Huntly farmer Allan Sanson was more than 1100 votes clear of his nearest rival, Clint Baddeley.

Before the election, Sanson said of Tamahere that with its expanding population it needed to have facilities more commonly found in an urban ward.

“We have a great opportunity to create a village green around the Tamahere School and hall. I would see this providing playing fields and sporting/recreational facilities for both the school and the community to enjoy.” Click here for earlier story on his views of Tamahere.

In the Environment Waikato constituency covering Tamahere, the successful candidates were Tony Armstrong, Jane Hennebry, Lois Livingston, and Paula Southgate.

Tamahere farmer Russ Rimmington was successful in his bid for the Environment Waikato constituency of Waipa-King Country, along with Stu Kneebone.

Just one Tamahere woman standing for the Hamilton City Council gained a seat. Margaret Forsyth was elected to the Hamilton East ward where fellow Tamahere resident Glenda Saunders lost her seat. Sharyn Cawood, who stood in the Hamilton West ward, was unsuccessful.

Outgoing Waikato Mayor Peter Harris pulled the shovel out of the car boot for the last time on Waikato District Council, reported the Waikato Times on Friday as Harris departed after six terms.

Regardless of who wins the right to replace him as mayor, council won’t be quite the same without its leader of nine years who would invariably give the seal of approval to council resolutions by asserting “now it’s time to get the shovel out of the boot and get on with it”.

Harris told the paper he doubted he would ever enter the council’s Ngaruawahia headquarters again and was exchanging his shovel for a set of golf clubs.

Council chief executive Gavin Ion acknowledged Harris’ drives to find solutions to problems and eke out a path forward.

“Peter is a person who has given a lot to the community,” he said. “He has been a mayor who has really engaged his team, and made sure that everyone has a job and everyone is working.

“He has always been very clear about what he wants. He does simplify things, but that actually makes it easier for us (staff) in terms of knowing what he is trying to achieve and being able to work with him to achieve that goal.

“We don’t always agree but respect each other’s opinions. And with Peter it has always been about what he thinks is best for the community and the district.

“One of Peter’s strengths has been that he doesn’t hold grudges. If he loses a vote, he moves on. It’s his pragmatism coming through again.”

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