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What do you stand for?

Friday 17 June, 2022

The call to stand in this year’s local body elections has gone out.

It’s less than four months until election day, 8 October, when Tairāwhiti residents will vote for who they want to represent them as a district councillor and Mayor.

Retiring councillor Shannon Dowsing says he encourages more young people to stand for the local election this year.

“With the world changing rapidly, we are recognising that the priorities of a younger generation are clearly what we should be working towards. It’s time they are represented at the decision-making table and guide the future of our community.”

“The decisions voted on around the council table affect the whole region and shape our future.”

Mr Dowsing, a councillor for six years, says he stood in the 2016 elections to offer as much of his time to the community as he could.

“The exciting part is that you get a big opportunity to learn about your community, read about the interesting activities going on and meet all the players involved in achieving them. Making decisions to support community aspirations is rewarding and seeking equitable outcomes is challenging and thought-provoking.

“It’s hugely exciting as you develop as a councillor and can provide your influence, life experience and whatever skills you bring to the table and apply these as direct actions in decision-making.”

Elections in Tairāwhiti Gisborne will be very different in 2022 with five councillors elected for the Māori Ward and eight elected for the General Ward. The Mayor is to be elected at large. It is also the first time we will be voting using STV (Single Transferable Voting).

Three Candidate information hui are planned over the next two weeks for anyone who wants to hear more about what standing for local government means.

Gisborne District Council, together with representatives from Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa and Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou have created a Te Tairāwhiti Gisborne-specific election 2022 campaign called Karangatia rā. It’s been leveraged off the national Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) “Vote 22” campaign in reo Māori and English.

We have drawn on the pōwhiri process and used elements of that kawa as a framework to approach our campaign. The elements we are using include: the Wero, the Karanga, the Whaikōrero and the Waiata with the three stages of the electoral process for the 2022 local elections: Stand, Educate and Vote.

Watch out for billboards going up next week and advertisements in the Gisborne Herald and on radio.

A video supporting our campaign will also be released that shows the faces of trusted, local and proud people of Tairāwhiti alongside a selection of our recognisable and beautiful regional locations.

Details of candidate hui that will be held in Tokomaru Bay this Sunday 19 June, Council Chambers on Tuesday 21 June and Puha on Sunday 3 July, and more information is available on Council’s website.