By GUY WILLIAMS
And then there were two.
Businesswoman Emily Rutherford (left) has pulled out of the contest for the vacant seat on Queenstown’s council.
The 31-year-old says she had a change of heart after realising her business ambitions meant she couldn’t fully commit herself to the role if she won.
It means the by-election, forced by the resignation of John MacDonald for health reasons last month, is now a two-horse race between retired lawyer Phil Wilson and consultant Esther Whitehead.
Rutherford says after learning on Wednesday she’s technically unable to withdraw from the
by-election — for which voting papers will be delivered on May 20 — she’s decided to stop campaigning so that voters know where they stand.
Her business ambitions include expanding Kiwi Water Park.
That’s a large-scale inflatable attraction on the shore of Lake Dunstan she established in December and ran for three months over the summer.
‘‘I was working 16-hour days every day of the week, and I’m thinking about opening another water park in the North Island.
‘‘So when I really thought about it, I realised I wouldn’t have enough time [to be on council], especially during the summer months.’’
She’s also conscious of opportunities waiting for her in the United Kingdom and Dubai, should Covid-19 permit, which would involve returning to the northern hemisphere to live.
‘‘In a perfect world, I would’ve loved to run for council, and I’d definitely like to do it in the future when I’m older and have more time.’’