Report by Alan Tristram for Kapiti Independent
In a sensational upset on the Kapiti Coast, the man considered number three in the mayoral race, Cr Ross Church, has ousted two-time Mayor Jenny Rowan.
Car dealer Ross Church who first said he would stand, then stood back, and finally changed his mind to get back in the race, has amazed everyone by taking first place.
Popular and generally well-regarded, Ms Rowan has served two terms as Mayor. Her main challenger seemed to be Cr K Gurunathan (Guru), who has waged a high-profile and well-funded campaign featuring clever ads throughout the district.
But Mr Church, a popular and gregarious business man who is obviously well-regarded by locals, has taken the trophy with a moderate programme, promising to be conciliatory and listen more to the public on some of the contentious issues facing Kapiti.
A KCDC Councillor for three years , he is the owner of Autoclassics at Paraparaumu Beach and is a 33-year Kapiti resident. He is also a tutor in business studies. He’s promising to be more open and communicative when dealing with the Kapiti Coast public.
He also wants rate increases kept as low as possible.
“In the next 3 years Kapiti needs to make the best of the impending amalgamation, so that our rates aren’t lost into super-city coffers, without local representation.”
Read more here.
Media release from Jenny Rowan
Mayor Jenny Rowan says she accepts the will of the electorate in the recent election and remains proud of her achievements over the past six years legacy for the people of Kapiti.
“I am honoured to have represented the people of Kapiti for the past six years and to have worked alongside some very fine Councillors, Council staff, community leaders and volunteers. Together we have left a very good legacy for the District.”
“In a wider political context, I believe I have represented the District honourably and effectively, and have emerged with the respect of my peers in local government. We have worked hard and have acted with integrity and courage to deal with some very big issues – even now I know I can look back on this period of my life with great pride.
“The election result shows that in-spite of our considerable achievements, we’ve not managed to take some sections of the community with us – particularly on water issues and coastal hazards. Many of the issues we have been dealing with are complex and complicated and it’s not always easy to communicate this in a fast-moving 21st century environment.”
“I extend my sincere thanks to my partner Jools Joslin, my family and friends for their enduring love and support and also want to acknowledge and thank Chief Executive Pat Dougherty, Council staff and all those who have stood alongside me over the past six years.
“I wish Ross Church and the new Council every success.”