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Published: 2013-07-19 00:00:00

People wanting to get involved in the issues affecting Waikato’s communities, its environment and the economy can now formally signal their interest in standing for Waikato Regional Council.

Nominations for candidates wishing to stand in this year’s local authority elections opened today.

Waikato Regional Council’s vision is for a region competing globally, caring locally. The council is responsible for a wide-range of issues including:

  • sustainable management of natural and physical resources – land, air, freshwater, coastal areas.
  • biosecurity and biodiversity activities to protect people’s health and the productive capacity of the natural environment.
  • planning regional growth and transport, and providing bus services.
  • civil defence, emergency response, navigation safety, dam safety, flood management, erosion control and road safety.

The council’s electoral officer Maureen Poole says people wanting to stand as a candidate for the regional council must get their nominations in before noon on Friday 16 August.

“Local democracy is about having the right mix of people, elected locally, to best represent each community,” said Ms Poole.

“Democracy works best when citizens are prepared to stand up and contribute to the public good and, to be effective, elected members need to reflect the diversity of our communities.”

This year there are new constituencies in Waikato, with four seats in Hamilton, two each in the Waikato, Waihou and Waipa-King Country constituencies, and one each in Taupo-Rotorua and Thames-Coromandel constituencies. For the first time there are elections for two Maori seats – one each in Ngā Hau e Whā and Ngā Tai ki Uta.

A pre-nomination briefing session will be held on Thursday 25 July at 5pm at the Waikato Regional Council offices, 401 Grey St, Hamilton East.

“The pre-nomination briefing is a great opportunity to find out about the candidate nomination process, the roles and responsibilities of councillors, the way the council works and makes decisions, hours of work and pay,” said Ms Poole.

For further information on standing as a candidate, visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/elections or contact Maureen Poole at Maureen.poole@waikatoregion.govt.nz or telephone 0800 800 401.

Meanwhile, voting papers for this year’s poll will be posted to voters between 20-25 September and must be sent back by midday on Election Day, 12 October 2013.