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A week out from nominations opening for Hamilton City Council elections, Chief Executive Lance Vervoort has set the scene for would-be candidates.

Council released its Pre-Election Report today (8 July), which puts in no uncertain terms what the role of being an Elected Member involves.

“This is an extraordinary time, and it is crucial Council has leaders in place who can navigate our organisation and city through it,” said Vervoort.

“I expect that people who are standing for Council, or thinking about it, are aware of what that opportunity means – the chance to represent your community and city and influence Hamilton’s future. So, I haven’t dwelled on that. Instead, I’ve focussed on painting a clear picture for potential candidates.”

Pre-Election Reports are prepared independently of Elected Members and required by law to include the Council’s financial position and upcoming major projects. Vervoort has opted to go further “to make sure candidates have their eyes open”.

“The report doesn’t cover everything Council does, nor everything that it’ll face in the next three years,” he said. “But it’s a good glimpse into how big and complex the role of a councillor is.

“It’s also a necessary introduction into Council’s current operating conditions, and the impacts we’re experiencing from COVID-19, inflation, global unrest, central government reform, and more.”

As well as seeking to inform aspiring councillors, the report identifies some key qualities that would help lead to a successful term at the Council table.

“We need expert and decisive leadership to embrace the situation we’re in, and make the inevitable difficult calls,” said Vervoort. “To get the best outcomes for our city, we need our governance arm to base its decisions on high-quality data, leverage existing and foster new partnerships, and balance the views of residents with Hamilton’s future needs.

“You’ll need to be comfortable making decisions that will be unpopular to some, and will involve large amounts of money – often millions of dollars. It’s not for everyone.

“Having a holistic view is essential. Having a dogmatic approach or single-minded agenda won’t work. Elected representation means distilling your opinions with what the community wants, and applying those to what is the best decision for Hamilton’s long-term future.”

Divided into five themes – Council’s role, Our city and community, A city of age and growing fast, Partnerships and collaboration, and More change is coming – the report also poses questions to spark debate ahead of the elections.

To read the report, go to yourcityelections.co.nz/stand. Hard copies will be available from Council reception at 260 Anglesea Street, or any branch of Hamilton City Libraries next week.

Nominations for Hamilton City Council’s Mayor and 14 Councillor (six East General Ward, six West General Ward, and two citywide Maaori Ward) positions open on Friday 15 July.

Read the report here

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