7 Oct 2010

Open race for mayoralty of Porirua

10:52 am on 7 October 2010

The Porirua mayoralty is anyone's game, with the city's mayor of 12 years not standing for re-election.

Nine candidates are vying for the job, including the deputy mayor, current councillors, a former Labour cabinet minister, and an ex race relations conciliator.

Retiring mayor Jenny Brash says it's time the city had a change and she's endorsing Councillor Nick Leggett to take over as mayor.

The city is also facing the prospect of amalgamation with its neighbours - an issue that deputy mayor Litea Ah Hoi wants debated more openly.

The other candidates are Russell Marshall, Brian Collins, Mike Duncan, Gregory Fortuin, Gray Piripi, Liz Kelly and Peter Windsor.

Porirua, population 51,500, has the fourth highest income per capita in the country, the lowest crime rate in the Wellington region and 91% of residents say their quality of life is good or extremely good.

Porirua's economy has steadily expanded over the past decade, growing at a faster rate than the Wellington region and the country.

Some 15,500 people are employed full-time across 3840 businesses, producing $1.33 billion in GDP.

However, only 21% of eligible voters have so far voted.