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Unanimous support for Stoltz as new mayor

Confidence in the ability of Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz to take on the role of mayor from August 22 was expressed by fellow councillors as they unanimously voted for her to take the reins.

Mrs Stoltz was the only nominee for the role, which starts when Mayor Meng Foon officially stands down on August 22.

The council will then appoint her as the new mayor — a role she will fill until the local body elections on October 12.

She will be the district’s first woman mayor.

In nominating Mrs Stoltz to fill the role, long-serving councillor Brian Wilson said it had been suggested in the media he might be the person for the job. But they were so close to the election it would be ridiculous not to nominate her.

She had represented Mayor Foon already at many functions when he was away and it seemed logical to him that she should be nominated.

Larry Foster said he was happy with the ability of Mrs Stoltz, who had been the deputy for six years and had performed her role exceptionally well.

Mr Foon said he could attest Mrs Stoltz had been a very good deputy mayor and had done a great job on the “few occasions when I am away”. She had represented the council with integrity and grace.

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she found herself in an extraordinary position, having put her name in for the mayoralty at the upcoming elections.

There was a space where things were logical and made sense, and it seemed logical to her that the deputy step into the position.

She had thought of nominating councillor Pat Seymour, based on her own six years of observations while on the council and that Mrs Seymour’s ward of Uawa had an important part to play in the upcoming sestercentennial commemorations.

“But I am here today to accept the council’s decision and to say thank you for all the things she (Mrs Seymour) has taught me. I know she would probably say no, as Brian (Wilson) did.”

Mrs Seymour said she completely supported Mrs Stoltz taking the role as she was the current deputy and would provide continuity until the election.

But she thought it would be democratic for the mayor to ask if there were any other nominations.

No new ones were received.

Karen Fenn supported Mrs Stoltz’s nomination.

“This is not about the election; it is about the best person for the job,” she said.

Mrs Stoltz had provided leadership and done a very good job. She ran a well-structured meeting.

The council will also consider appointing a new deputy mayor.

Mrs Stoltz said she was humbled by the vote of confidence from her colleagues.

“I look forward to continuing to work hard with councillors and staff to serve our community as best we can.”

Opening the meeting, Mr Foon said the community was at the heart of all council matters such as roads, street lights and dogs.

This nomination for an acting mayor had happened before with the death of Mayor Hink Healey, who was replaced by Brian Crawshaw.

All the councillors were present yesterday except for Malcolm MacLean, who took part by audio link.

Mayoral candidate: Rehette Stoltz.