Nine candidates are vying for the position of Far North mayor, representing a number of different sectors in the community, including Māori, business, farming and parents.
The candidates are Jaqi Brown, Ann Court, Clinton Dearlove, Kevin Middleton, Joshua Riley, Kelly Stratford, Moko Tepania, John Vujcich and Rachel Witana.
Three-term mayor John Carter, and former MP, is standing down this year.
The Far North faced a number of controversies in the last term, including reclassification of significant natural areas – which many people described as a “land grab”, the Government’s new Three Waters amalgamation and new Māori wards.
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Stuff asked each mayoral candidate to describe themselves in one sentence, if they represent a minority and to explain what they hope to achieve in Whangārei.
Brown, from Ahipara, is of Ngāpuhi, Croatian and English descent, and has served three terms on the Te Hiku Community Board.
“I have a passion for finding solutions to life’s jigsaw puzzles, having parented seven children – my own two and five whāngai [fostered] – I’ve learned to wedge open doors to advocate for those less able to speak for themselves.
“I’ve participated in a plethora of community initiatives and committees and boards to see things stood up for the betterment of our community, all while holding down a full-time job or two, to give me the experience and knowledge I need to become mayor.”
Brown said she is standing for mayor to ensure the community voice is heard at the council table, and to champion the unique region using her governance, networking, advocacy and taha Māori skills.
Court is currently deputy mayor and was first elected to local government in 1995.
“I am a married mother of…