A former Queenstown deputy mayor is planning a mayoral tilt – raising the prospect of a two-horse race.
Simon Hayes, a real estate agent active in the community since arriving in Queenstown in the mid-1980s, admitted yesterday he’s thinking of having a crack at the top job.
Asked if he was planning to stand for the mayoralty, Hayes said: “It’s under consideration. I think I can make a difference.”
Hayes was due to host a press conference at 12.30 today. He’s also considering standing for council, he says.
By deadline last night, the only declared mayoral candidate was Queenstown councillor Vanessa van Uden. The deadline for candidate nominations is next Friday.
Hayes is no stranger to local body politics – he stood for the mayoralty in 2001 but was well beaten by current mayor Clive Geddes, who’s standing down this year. From 1995, Hayes served two terms on Queenstown Lakes District Council under former mayor Warren Cooper. Hayes was deputy mayor in his second term, winning the job on the toss of a coin from councillor Jerry Hohneck.
A Lions Club member, Hayes recently launched a national Heads Up For Kids campaign to turn redundant and foreign money into cash for deserving youngsters.
On the council front, Arrowtown environmentalist Karen Swaine has put her hand up for a Queenstown seat.
Swaine, 46, confirms she’ll stand in the Wakatipu ward.
“People want open democracy – they want council to be accountable and transparent,” she says.
“It’s time to bring in some people who actually want to do something about creating a culture of open democracy.”
Originally from California, Swaine – who works as an archivist for Lakes District Museum – was granted New Zealand citizenship last week.
The election is scheduled for October 9.