Six candidates vying to be New Plymouth District Mayor

21 August 2019

The contest to be the next Mayor of the New Plymouth District will be a six-horse race.

Incumbent Neil Holdom will face Max Brough, Irene Godkin, Joanne Kuvarji, Greg MacKay and Bill Simpson, the biggest field to challenge for the top NPDC governance job since eight candidates ran for the mayoralty in 2010.

NPDC’s appeal for residents to Take A Stand for their community helped to inspire 30 candidates to throw their hat in the ring for the 10 spots in the New Plymouth City Ward. There are four candidates in each of the North and South-West wards, vying for the two seats in each ward.

The Mayor and Councillors are involved in all the big decisions about the future of our district, what the priorities are and how we pay for them. Think drinking water, parks, the coastal walkway, safer roads, a vibrant central city, libraries, an art gallery, a museum, theatre, major events and pools. The Council manages assets worth $3.3 billion and has an annual operating budget of about $155 million.

NPDC Chief Executive Craig Stevenson welcomed the response to Take a Stand for the district and urged voters to Get to Know the NPDC candidates running to be an elected member.

“A sign of a healthy democracy is people being prepared to stand up and be counted. I’m delighted to see so many candidates take on this challenge. Now it’s time for voters to get to know who they are and what they stand for so they can make an informed choice come election time.

“Our next challenge, is to get as many people as possible to vote. Turnout has been falling for many elections and slipped below 50% in 2016 so we want as many people as possible to take part. We’re using STV this year so voting is as simple as 1, 2, 3 or ranking your preferred candidates.”

Voters can see the full list of candidates with contact details for the election hopefuls on the NPDC Know Your Candidate page:

There will be an election for the Waitara Community Board with six candidates running for four seats while four candidates have been elected unopposed for the Kaitake Community Board.  Elections will not be held for Inglewood and Clifton Community Board members because there were not enough candidates so a by-election will be required. The by-election must be held within 3 months following election day.

Key election dates:
20-25 September: Voting documents arrive via post
20 September: Postal voting opens
October 6: Recommended last day to send in postal votes. You can still drop your voting papers in to NPDC.
Noon, 12 October: Voting closes
Noon, 13 October: Preliminary results announced

Candidates for Mayor: 
Max Brough
Irene Godkin
Neil Holdom
Joanne Kuvarji
Greg MacKay
Bill Simpson
New Plymouth City Ward candidates:
Colin Bell 
Sam Bennett
Katherine Blaney
Gordon Brown
David Bublitz
Anneka Carlson
Murray Chong
Amanda Clinton-Gohdes
Mike Crow
Harry Duynhoven
Barbara Fakavamoeanga
Sarah Foy
Bruce Gatward-Cook
Bev Gibson
Irene Godkin
Richard Handley
Stacey Hitchcock
Louise James
Joanne Kuvarji
Greg MacKay 
Chris Manukonga
Jonathan Marshall
Dinnie Moeahu
Rob Needs
Jack Newsome
Phil Quinney
Dwayne Sherwood
Howie Tamati
Deb Tawa
Selwyn Watkins
North Ward:
Tony Bedford
Colin Johnston
Bill Simpson
John Williams

South-West Ward:
Chris Hale
Peter Henderson
Richard Jordan
Marie Pearce

Waitara Community Board: 
Trevor Dodunski
Irene Godkin
Andrew Larsen
Jonathan Marshall
Josephine Moore 
Joe Rauner
Kaitake Community Board (elected): 
Graham Chard
Paul Coxhead
Doug Hislop
Paul Veric

Clifton Community Board*: 
Ken Bedford
Warren Petersen

Inglewood Community Board*: 
Mel Cook
Graeme Hamilton Sykes

*By-election for two remaining seats 

New Plymouth and Mount Taranaki drone shot