Local issues spur would-be councillors


Involvement in local issues has galvanised candidates in Glenorchy and Frankton to stand for this October’s council elections.

Niki Gladding is putting her hat in the ring after fighting plans for Camp Glenorchy.

Gladding was upset the council approved a development she claimed breached the district plan and didn’t fit with the local community plan.

As a result of her efforts, she says the campground developers will ensure there’s still public access to local reserves.

She’s since taken a lead role in establishing Sustainable Glenorchy, which is concerned about the council imposing what it sees as an expensive, overly-engineered sewerage scheme on the town.

Gladding, 41, says she can relate to the issues facing other young families in the district, particularly the unaffordability of living here.

Meanwhile, Frankton’s Hudson Turnbull is bidding for a return to the council, after serving two terms as a councillor in the 1990s. He was part of the Kawarau Bridge Relocation Group which fought an unsuccessful battle for a new bridge to be built further downstream.

“Our inability to actually get some traction made me realise that you really can’t get anything done unless you’re inside,” he says.

Though it’s 18 years since he was on council, “the crazy thing is that the same issues and the same problems have yet to be resolved”.

An example is the Queenstown CBD bypass, which he says he proposed when he was a councillor.

Affordable housing also has to be addressed.

“There’s a lot of work to be done yet to make it sustainable for the young, even the professional young people, to stay in the valley and contribute to the community.”


Putting their hands up

Prospective mayoral and council candidates have only till 12pm today to lodge their nominations.

There’ll be at least five candidates for the mayoral chair, which Vanessa van Uden is vacating in October: Al Angus, of Glenorchy, Jim Boult, of Queenstown, deputy mayor Lyal Cocks, of Wanaka, John Mann, of Queenstown, and Roger Tompkins, of Queenstown.

To date, 11 candidates have said they’re standing for the six seats in the Queenstown/Wakatipu ward: existing councillors Merv Aoake, Craig `Ferg’ Ferguson, Alexa Forbes and Simon Stamers-Smith and new candidates Peter Faul, Niki Gladding, Tony Hill, John MacDonald, Val Miller, Jon Mitchell and Hudson Turnbull.

As of Wednesday, existing councillor Scott Stevens was the only candidate standing for the single-seat Arrowtown ward.