Gisborne’s two-term Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz is poised to make history with her announcement today she will contest the mayoralty at this year’s elections.
If successful, she will become the region’s first female mayor since local body elections began in 1877.
She believes the role of mayor demands a total commitment and focus and as such will not seek re-election as a councillor – a position she has held for three terms – or district health board member, which she has held for two.
She says her prime focus will be on strategic direction, aligning council decision-making with agreed community needs and values, and creating ‘a thriving Tairawhiti for all’.
Mrs. Stoltz has lived in Gisborne since 2001 after ‘falling in love with the district and its people’ during a four-month OE experience in Tairawhiti. Half of those 18 years have been spent serving as a Gisborne district councillor, having been first elected in 2010.
“Since then, my husband Deon and I have been actively involved with different communities, community groups and organisations and love every moment of it. This is our home. I am proud to put my name forward to be the Mayor of Gisborne and the Tairawhiti region.”
She said today she had served her apprenticeship for the mayoralty.
“During my two terms as Deputy Mayor, I have gained a thorough understanding of the complexities of local government including its capabilities and limitations. I am proud to have had many opportunities to lead our council locally and on the national stage in advocating for the region.
“Strategic direction will be a priority, as will ensuring council decisions align with agreed community needs and values – in other words, our strategic objectives. Under my leadership, councillors will renew their commitment to improve how we engage with our residents, how we listen and how we serve everyone more effectively. I want to lead a council with a can-do attitude that our residents can be proud of.”
Mrs. Stoltz believed her diverse skills, including her academic, business and political knowledge and experience, would assist her in the role.
“Gisborne District Council provides some of the main pillars for progress and success in our region. We clean. We build. We maintain. We create a rulebook to protect our environment and our people, and we support our communities and their whanau to grow.
“Councillors need to be agile and use the best information as well as common sense to make sure we have solid, high-quality infrastructure that also caters for future growth.
“There are many important and possibly contentious issues that will come before us in the next three years. They include issues like heavy vehicles on our city and rural roads, water security, and spending within our limits. I am ready to lead robust community discussions on how we address these issues in the best possible way.”
“I am excited about the possibilities for the region and committed to working towards a common goal, while respecting different opinions. I am keen to listen and to be responsive to diverse community opinions and needs, and to facilitate productive discussions and outcomes.
“I want to lead a council that works alongside our community to create an environment for everyone to succeed. I look forward to a positive campaign, and meeting and listening to what our residents have to say. In the coming months, I will be sharing my vision, ideas and plans to create a thriving Tairawhiti for all.”