Second hat in council ring



Queenstown council aspirant Esther Whitehead has had dealings with the organisation through her various community roles, and advised it in a professional capacity.

Now she reckons it’s time to work on the inside.

Whitehead, 45, has joined former councillor and retired lawyer Phil Wilson in contesting June’s by-election for the seat left vacant by John MacDonald’s resignation last month.







She tells Mountain Scene she’s long thought about running, and been prodded to do so by others.

Changes in her working life mean she’s now got the time to devote to the role.

She would bring with her a wide experience in the education sector, governance and policy analysis, advocacy, and a bunch of community roles with a sustainability theme.

A self-employed consultant who provides training, advice and advocacy services for the government, universities, schools and businesses, she was until recently also the managing trustee of the Dyslexia Foundation of NZ for 11 years.

She wants readers to know she’s interested in business — she co-owns Vertigo Bikes with her husband, Tim Ceci, and has run other businesses in the past.

The co-founder of Sustainable  Queenstown, who’s lived in the resort for the past 21 years, says she particularly wants to represent younger voters.

‘‘I feel their voices are crucial to the district’s future.’’

She also wants to see more ‘‘equity and accessibility’’ in decision-making.

‘‘We know the cohort that engages most with the submission process are those who’re over 60, and are land owners with money.

‘‘I think our processes, like many councils, mean we have elitism in our accessibility to the processes them selves.’’

Nominations for the June 11 by-election close next Thursday.