Nelson City Councillor 2013 - 2022
Why did I stand as a councillor? I took some time out after my husband died and during that time I was a visitor to the chamber of the Nelson City Council and became quite addicted to how decisions were made and how processes worked (or not). Because I took an interest I was approached by a sitting councillor to consider standing in the upcoming election. This was quite unexpected but I was involved with Rotary, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Foodbank (which continues) and therefore quite well connected. I also had a great-uncle who was Nelson Mayor for a time and I found that quite fascinating.
I decided to stand and was elected in 2013. My connection to the community was a good fit to the Community Services Committee. I think it is important that skills are matched to the roles appointed if at all possible. My past work experience was in fields dominated by men, and Council is very similar. For others this can create a challenge but in my case was not an issue. My time to date on Council has been very challenging but extremely rewarding. Local government has so much to do with the day to day lives of our residents (much more than they realise). For me the role is a good fit and I look forward to what is coming next. Every day is different but the challenge to the mind is reward itself. I have learned so much from being a councillor that I never would have had access to if I had not decided to throw my hat in the ring.
This was published in: Women Decision-Makers Nelson and Tasman 1944 -2018, p.44. Compiled by Dr Shelley Richardson, Elaine Henry, Gail Collingwood, Hilary Mitchell.
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Further sources - Gaile Noonan
- Richardson, S., Henry, E., Collingwood, G. Mitchell, H. (2018). Women decision-makers Nelson and Tasman 1944-2018. Nelson, New Zealand