The first candidate has thrown his hat in the ring for the Tamahere ward on the Waikato District Council in the upcoming October local body elections.
Tamahere resident Aksel Jepsen, a Tamahere School board of trustees member, announced his candidacy by launching a website and placing advertisements on Tamahere Forum.
Other candidates have from July 15 to August 12 to get their nominations in for the vacancy left by three-term councillor Wally Hayes who is standing for the mayoralty only.
Jepsen, originally from Denmark but raised and schooled in New Zealand since he was 14, has had a home in Tamahere for 17 years where he and wife Susan and three children have lived since 1999 between overseas travel and spells living elsewhere in New Zealand.
The Tamahere School representative on the Tamahere Community Committee said he felt the next five years would be critical for Tamahere.
“NZTA will be finishing the expressway and other roads, laying the blueprint for how and where the community can grow,” Jepsen told Tamahere Forum. “The next three to five years will shape Tamahere for the following 20 to 30 years.
Jepsen, 51, said he’d noticed that Hamilton city documents often included Tamahere within the city and he could see a time coming when the southern links ring road was completed and everything within the road would be expected to be within the city boundaries.
“But people are not here to live in a Rototuna-type suburb. They’ve got big blocks and want the city nearby but don’t want to be in the city.”
Jepsen, who has had a successful business career and describes himself now as “time rich”, said he was standing for election because he felt Tamahere needed a strong voice to speak at the council table “and not spend a year listening”.
He was not a career politician but was driven by local issues, Jepsen said.
Having announced his candidacy before the nomination closure date Jepsen said he would have a more formal campaign launch after nominations closed.
For more information on standing for election visit the Vote Waikato website.