Monday, 13 July 2020


Mercury Bay sends experienced duo back to new-look council

It’s business as usual in terms of Mercury Bay’s representation at the council table with both sitting councillors, Murray McLean and Tony Fox, retaining their seats in the Thames Coromandel District elections.

Mr McLean topped the poll with 1925 votes, just eight more than Mr Fox. The current figures do not include special votes which won’t be counted until Thursday. However, they are unlikely to affect any local results. It’s a reverse of the 2016 ballot which saw Mr Fox take top spot, more than 300 votes ahead of Mr McLean. On the latest available numbers, Debbie Farrell was just 290 votes shy of the winning post, with Gus Macassey-Pickard receiving 1548 ticks in favour.

Speaking following the result on Saturday, Murray McLean said Mercury Bay was coming off the back of a hugely positive term of growth and development with strong investment in infrastructure. He was looking forward to working hard to deliver more of the same over the next three years, he told The Informer. Tony Fox said he wanted to thank the people of Mercury Bay for putting their confidence in him. “I want to assure them that I will doing everything I possibly can to make sure this positive momentum continues for our area,” he said.

Sandra Goudie comfortably retained the mayoral chains for another three years receiving 60 percent of the vote with 7560 voters backing the incumbent, more than 3200 more than her nearest rival, the Whitianga-based candidate, Len Salt. Mr Salt managed to secure 4198 in his first time running for the top job – an improved showing on the 955 nods in 2016 when he challenged for a council seat. Ben Parsons was a distant third with just 846 votes.

The re-elected mayor said she was looking forward to another three year term of working collectively and collaboratively with a council that welcomes several new faces. With 442 votes, former mayor, Tony Brljevich, has lost his position as the sole voice for Coromandel-Colville after nine years in office. He was dislodged by John Morrissey who, with 677 votes, returns to council having previously served two terms. Neville Cameron was the other candidate in this ward and received 321 votes. Newcomer, Gary Gotlieb, will be the district’s only non-resident councillor after the Whangamata ward voted the former president of the Auckland District Law Society in at the expense of stalwart, Jan Bartley, who will be disappointed with the 979 votes that left him bottom of the table. Mr Gotlieb topped the poll with 1396 votes and will be joined by the other Whangamata incumbent Terry Walker. Thames has also sent two new faces into the chamber in the form of Martin Rodley and Alison Choppin who will be accompanied by Sally Christie who comfortably returns for a second term after securing 2439 votes.

Meanwhile, Denis Tegg has become Thames-Coromandel’s representative on the Waikato Regional Council after the vote was closely split race between three of the four candidates. A Thames-based retired lawyer and environment campaigner, Mr Tegg, received 3884 votes to take the seat ahead of incumbent Dal Minogue on 3513 and Clyde Graf with 3436.

In the Mercury Bay Community Board election, sitting chair Rekha Giri-Percival received a strong endorsement with 2080 people backing her for another three years. Newcomer, Hahei-based Jeremy Lomas, also polled well with 1887 votes, followed by Deli Connell on 1491 and Bill McLean who secured a third term and the last of the four spots with 1404 votes.

Coromandel-Colville Community Board welcomes Jean Ashby and Kim Brett to the table alongside incumbents Jan Autumn and Jean Ashby. There was no community board election in Tairua-Pauanui as just four candidates were nominated for the four positions. Warwick Brooks, Barry Swindles, Anne Stewart Ball and Chris New will be sworn in along with all the newly elected members for the new term on 31 October.

Pictured: Five of the six successful Thames-Coromandel District Council and Mercury Bay Community Board candidates after the early results of thisFive of the six successful Thames-Coromandel District Council and Mercury Bay Community Board candidates after the early results of thisyear’s local body elections were announced. From left to right - Murray McLean, Tony Fox, Jeremy Lomas, Rekha Giri-Percival and Bill McLean.


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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.