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11 months ago

Selwyn Times: October 18, 2016

8 Summer Wedding? Visit

8 Summer Wedding? Visit Smith & Boston now! Tuesday October 18 2016 Our People SELWYN TIMES Life after council for former SMITH & BOSTON Prebbleton Village | Christchurch Ph: 03 349 5646 www.smithandboston.co.nz Two weeks ago, Sarah Walters was Selwyn’s deputy mayor and a leading contender for the district’s mayoralty – now she is figuring out life after the district council. She spoke to Tom Doudney about the election, her thoughts on new mayor Sam Broughton and the achievement she is most proud of How did you feel when you found out the election result? My instant feeling when I got told was ‘oh my god, I have let people down’ because I had so many wonderful messages of support and I know that people were really backing me to be there. I was ready for a change and whether it was up or whether it was out I left that up to the people of Selwyn to decide and they have decided, so I’m not going to be bitter or anything about it. How do you think Sam Broughton will go as mayor? I think he will bring a very different style, it will definitely be his own style because that’s BOWING OUT: For the first time in nine years, Sarah Walters won’t be involved in decision-making at the district council table. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN the kind of guy Sam is and I think he will do a good job. How would you describe his style? Pretty casual and relaxed. He is a very personable and relaxed person, I think people will enjoy that element of his mayoralty. I suppose there may be some that find him too casual for what they expect the role to be but that is up to Sam – he has got the job and he will make it his own. What sort of challenges do you think he will face as a new mayor leading a new council? I think he has got quite a steep learning curve because there are a lot of aspects of the role that he hasn’t been involved in to date. I don’t think it will be an issue for him but he will have a lot to learn. What do you see as some of the big issues that the new council needs to get on top of? The council has been really good at doing the infrastructure side of things but we haven’t been so good at creating the social infrastructure and building the community and it’s not just a council role but it is a council role to make sure that it happens. So what’s next for Sarah Walters? My daughters have said I can have a week’s gardening leave and then I have got to find a job to keep them in the style they have become accustomed to. As to what the next role is I don’t have anything in particular in mind. I have enjoyed being Selwyn’s transport portfolio holder for the last three years and I have a strong interest in transportrelated issues so if there was something in that sphere that would be great. So I hope to be a bit fussy about what I do but in the end it might just come down to putting food on the table. Drama Classes for Children Helping children develop social skills for a competitive world. Fun Classes for 5-17 years Weekly Classes 0800 161 131 www.helenogrady.co.nz Rolleston’s neW RetiRement village OWN YOUR OWN VILLAGE Woodcroft Estate brings you all the benefits of living in a thriving community while retaining all the rewards of owning your own home. • 78 villas with Club rooms/ Pavilion and a bowling green • 2-3 bedroom villas with single or double garage • On site manager • Secure lifestyle village • 100% capital gain FOR MORE INFORMATION Phone: 03 421 7796 | Email: sales@woodcroftestate.co.nz 34 kEndOn drivE, rOllEStOn

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday October 18 2016 9 Sarah Walters deputy mayor Maronan Road, Tinwald, Ashburton What about politics? I’ve never been particularly drawn to central government politics. I know that’s where the big decisions are made but it just seems so much more brutal and so much harder to make a difference. Before you started on council, what were you doing? I was working part-time as an administration assistant. How did you first get on to council without having a public profile at the time? I stood for the council in 2007 and it took me a long time to decide that I had something worthwhile to offer. But I have got great kids, they were seven and nine at the time, and I was worried about the decisions that would be made for their future and I only had to look around and see we had so many fantastic kids in our district and I wanted to be there as a voice for their futures. So that was my original motivation and I was quite nervous because I thought ‘well, I’m nothing special’ but in the end I decided that there was nobody there like me and that was the best thing I could bring. My first foray was sending an email to the then Selwyn See your Orthodontist in Rolleston Orthodontist Phil Murfitt is now based at the new Rolleston Dental Centre, Tennyson Street, opposite Rolleston School. Appointments/enquiries: (03) 375 4418 phil@pgmortho.co.nz www.pgmortho.co.nz STEPPING UP: Speaking at public events and openings were part of Sarah Walters’ role as deputy mayor. Times reporter which said “campaign on a bike? She must be mad” and that was my subject line and then I went on in the email “well, probably, but I’m going to do it anyway.” The reporter came and did an interview and that went into the paper and I did get out on my bike. Out of all the things you have had a hand in in your nine years on council, is there anything in particular you are quite proud of? I know that one thing wouldn’t have happened without me, although it obviously wasn’t just me, was the building of the Selwyn Aquatic Centre and getting the improvements to district pools that came out of getting the Selwyn Aquatic Strategy through. It was leading up to the 2010 election and there was a lot of controversy, which obviously local papers pick up on and make a bigger deal than it really is, and there was an unwillingness from people around the council table to step up and take on that role. They needed someone to take on the sports and recreation portfolio which meant they were taking on the aquatic centre and I took on that role and in doing that I thought ‘this is important enough for Welding & Engineering Services available: • Welding, metal fabrication • Engineering repair • Farm, factory and site work undertaken Well equipped workshop Widely experienced, many years Wilson Engineering Workshop, 486 Two Chain Road, Burnham. Phone 347 6760 or 021 329 605 me to put my job on the line.’ Although I’m not a swimmer myself I did recognise what having the Selwyn Aquatic Centre would bring to the community and fortunately the Selwyn community rewarded me for that and I got reelected on a campaign budget of $87. No matter where my future life goes I have always thought I can be quietly proud of that. Anything you’d like to say to sign off, Sarah? As a person who is not going to have a public profile any more, one of the really big things for me has been the support I have got from people and I think it has helped me be in a good head space for stepping out of the council as well because I had so many messages of support and phone calls leading up the election and post the election. I’m glad for what I have been able to achieve, I’m sad about what I am not going to be able to achieve in the future but I’m okay with where things are at because of the support I have had from my family. It has made a big difference just having that support because I think I probably would have been a bit of a mess otherwise. OSTEOHEALTH NZ Prevention is the only cure YOU DON’T DESERVE A BREAK! 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