By-election nominations to open end of March
Nominations for a Waipā District Council by-election will open at the end of March.
Council has been forced to hold a by-election following the shock resignation yesterday of Waipā Māori ward councillor, Takena Stirling. Stirling resigned following his suspension, on an interim basis, by the Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal of the New Zealand Law Society.
His resignation was accepted immediately by Waipā mayor Susan O’Regan who has confirmed today Stirling would not be returning to Council.
Today O’Regan said she was “deeply disappointed”.
“It’s not just me. All Councillors are disappointed and frankly, quite disheartened. This is not what we wanted for our Council or our district or for those whom Takena represented,” she said.
“Takena has taken full responsibility for his actions and I am grateful for that. Now we can get on quickly and get someone else into his seat. By law we have no choice but to hold a by-election so let’s just get on with it.”
Stirling was elected to Council in October 2022, the district’s first Māori ward Councillor. He beat two other candidates to win the contest.
Council has advised the postal by-election will cost between $22,000 - $25,000. As the vacated seat is for a Māori ward councillor, only voters enrolled on the Māori electoral roll will be able to cast a vote.
Nominations will close on April 27 and the delivery of postal voting papers will start on June 1. Voting will close on Friday June 23 with a successful candidate likely to be announced the same day.
The election will be managed independently on Council’s behalf by electionnz.com.