Regardless of where you sit on the length of electoral terms, one thing I think we can all agree on is that three years pass in a flash. In my case, 15 years as an elected member have raced by, with plenty of variety, excitement and challenges. So it’s fitting we have local body elections in October.

This year, elections will use a mixed-voting, two-ward model, plus a Māori ward. For the first time, Nelson will join 14 other councils who use the Single-Transferable Vote (STV) system, which allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.

The first and most critical action is to make sure you are enrolled to vote. A robust democratic system relies on citizens exercising their right to decide who represents them. If you need to enrol, visit

Voting isn’t much use without candidates to vote for, so I encourage anyone interested in serving their community to put their hand up. Don’t be daunted if you have no prior experience in local government. 

What’s important is your passion for your city and region. People who bring the voice and aspiration of their community to the table make great elected members. Even better are people who want to build the community up, rather than hold it back. If these things motivate you, please consider finding people to nominate you. Find out more at and search 'elections'. 

Our region’s future is very much in the hands of our elected representatives and we have to engage as a community to continue to progress. You can do that by voting. Don’t just think about it – do it! 

Our City’s development is a long-term process and while an ‘I want the world and I want it now’ approach can creep in when we debate contentious topics, we must keep the bigger picture in mind. Ultimately, elections are about choosing people who can work together for both the here-and-now and future generations. 

I humbly acknowledge the privilege of being Mayor since 2013, and will thank you all when I sign off in October 2022. I’ll be working up to the very last day of my appointment to get things in the best shape for the next Mayor and new Council. Make sure you enrol to vote and perhaps stand for election. October is bound to be exciting.