AIMAN AMERUL MUNER/Stuff
Michelle Pye is standing in the 2022 local body elections for the Pleasant Point-Temuka Ward.
A new candidate campaigning on being realistic, adding value around the table, and not making empty promises with policies, has been nominated for the Timaru District Council in the 2022 local body elections.
And Michelle Pye, who is standing for the council’s Pleasant Point-Temuka Ward, hopes more people will join the race, with nominations for the elections closing in just over a week.
Pye is head of the Pye Group with husband Leighton, and for the past 20 years the pair have built up their agriculture business, working with the community, and through her business and various board appointments, Pye thinks she will add value around the council table.
“I believe it is really important to be realistic, there are always going be things that need to be done, and I believe I can add value around the table,” she said.
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“I am not naive enough to think I can go in there a change things up straight away.”
She hopes more people put their name in the ring in the contest for a seat around the Timaru District Council table, and for the Pleasant Point-Temuka Ward , as ‘’it would make the community more engaged and the community will get to pick who they want representing them’’.
Temuka man Scott Shannon has also been nominated for the ward.
Being on the Fonterra Co-operative board, Potatoes New Zealand board and various other community and school-based boards, Pye believes she has valuable skills and knowledge to offer.
“In my role at Fonterra I was exposed to voting statistics and comparing them to local government elections and I could see that local government has a low voting rate,” she said.
“I figured out early on that it is hard for you to do your job if people aren’t engaged.
“It is hard to represent the community if you don’t know what the community want.”
Pye was born on the West Coast and moved around a lot to farming and small rural communities, and has spent most of her life in the Canterbury and North Otago region.
She attended Timaru Girls’ High School and “never left” the area.
She and Leighton raised their three kids in Winchester, their oldest daughter is studying at Princeton University in the United States and their two other children attend boarding school in Christchurch.
She admitted being a “bit worried’’ about putting her hand up for the position, and hoped to see more people coming forward for nomination.
Nominations for local body elections close on August 12, with few nominations for South Canterbury councils and Environment Canterbury.
As at 5pm on Wednesday, five people had been nominated for the nine councillor roles for the Timaru District Council.
Gavin Peter Oliver has been nominated for the Geraldine Ward, Pye and Shannon for the Pleasant Point-Temuka Ward, and Troy Titheridge and Allan Booth for the Timaru Ward.
Oliver and Booth are both seeking re-election .
To date there had been no nominations for Timaru District mayor.
Meanwhile, in the Waimate District, mayor Craig Rowley is seeking re-election.
Colin Pankhurst has been nominated for the Hakataramea-Waihaorunga Ward, and is seeking re-election, and John Begg has been nominated for the Waimate Ward.
In the Mackenzie District, Robin McCarthy is the only nomination for mayor.
Matt Murphy has been nominated for the new Takapō/Tekapo Ward, and for the past term has represented the council’s Pukaki Ward.
So far, Peter Scott is the only nomination for Environment Canterbury South Canterbury/Ōtuhituhi Regional Constituency.