Concern at lack of nominees for Bluff Community Board


Bluff residents who want to stand for the community board at the upcoming local body elections should put their names forward. The cutoff date is August 12.

John Hawkins/Stuff

Bluff residents who want to stand for the community board at the upcoming local body elections should put their names forward. The cutoff date is August 12.

Callout to Bluffies, the town needs you.

Just five days before nominations close for the upcoming local body elections, Bluff Community Board chairman Ray Fife’s name is the only one listed on the council website as a candidate for the board.

Fife has joined Invercargill City Council deputy electoral officer Michael Morris in hoping some passionate members of the Bluff community step forward for election to the five-member board.

Last week Morris said it was “so important for Bluff to have a voice and to be heard at council,” and Fife echoed those words on Sunday.

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He was concerned his name was the only one on the candidate list so far, but stressed it was up to each individual to decide.

Though being a board member could be a thankless role, it was an important one, he said.

A lot of Bluff residents led busy lifestyles and did shift work and weren’t bothered about local body politics, but he said being on the board was important because it was the voice for the town.

“I would like to think there are people in the community who are passionate about Bluff and will put their names forward. It’s an important role, we are the voice of Bluff and we represent the community … we are the ones who make sure the facilities we have got are kept up to scratch.”

Current board member Graham Laidlaw, who has been on the board for three terms, said he would not be standing again, citing the frustration of trying to get things done for Bluff through the city council.

“A classic example is the boat ramp … this is the fourth year we have been asking for one.”

He had enjoyed his time with the other board members during his time, he said.

Another current community board member, Noel Peterson is instead standing for the Invercargill mayoralty and a city councillor’s position at the upcoming elections.

He recommended the Bluff Community Board to anyone considering standing, saying it was exciting and rewarding. The board had got the Bluff master plan over the line and the Government had awarded $981,000 for an upgrade of Bluff Hill, he said.

Both Peterson and Laidlaw said they knew of people who had indicated they may be standing for the community board.

The cutoff for nominations is midday on August 12.

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