The Waiheke Local Board will remain more or less the same as last term’s if the preliminary results as of this Monday hold, with sitting board members all re-elected and Bianca Ranson stepping in to replace the retired Bob Upchurch.
Last term’s chairwoman, Cath Handley, topped the polls with 2210 votes – a position which traditionally decides who the Waiheke Local Board chair is for the next term. Kylee Matthews ranked second, with 1878 votes and Robin Tucker’s seat on the board seems fairly secure with 1600 votes.
However, Bianca Ranson has 1539 votes so far, just 40 ahead of Paul Walden who got 18 votes more than Norm Robbins. Depending on which way the special votes go, Robbins could potentially push either Walden or Ranson out. Cath Handley says the results indicate Waiheke voters are largely happy with the direction the local board has been headed. “That’s really heartening. I’m honoured to return… [and] it will be good to get going again.”
Handley says the board is now going into an interim period, where council staff will run things with advice from last term’s board members, until the new board is formally sworn in this November. • Paul Mitchell
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