The End of an Era at Council

An era has come to an end today with Jim Gerard attending his final meeting as a Waimakariri District councillor.


The former long-serving National MP, Deputy Speaker, and High Commissioner to Canada, is standing down from a position he has held since 2010.

Councillor Gerard entered Parliament in 1984 in the then Rangiora seat, and remained the District’s voice in the capital until 1997 when he stood down to take up the position as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Canada.

During his time as an MP, Councillor Gerard also served as Deputy Speaker of the House.

He was the first person in that newly created role when appointed in 1992.

While his career in the national House of Representatives ended with his selection as the country’s representative in Ottawa, Gerard re-entered local politics on his return to Rangiora, successfully running for the mayoralty of the Waimakariri District in 2001.

Gerard, who had previously served on the old Oxford County Council, was Mayor between 2001 and 2007, and returned as a Councillor in 2010.

Although today was his last council meeting, he hasn’t quite severed his ties from community service yet.

Gerard has offered his services as a Rangiora Community Board member, and is among the 10 candidates for that election this weekend.

Two councillors concluded their duties today.

Councillor Caroline Faass is not seeking re-election in the Kaiapoi-Woodend Ward, having served the District through the current term after previous time as a Community Board member.

The remaining eight councillors have all put their names forward again, while incumbent Mayor David Ayers is standing for re-election for a third term.

While postal votes were required to be mailed by today, votes can still be cast through the ballot boxes at Council Service Centres, with the Rangiora Service Centre open between 9 and 12 on Saturday for the casting of special votes.

These are categorised for those who have misplaced or damaged their voting papers, are on an unpublished roll, have moved house recently and didn’t receive their original voting forms, or have just turned 18.

All voting closes at midday on Saturday, with the initial results expected later that day.

You can keep up-to-date with the results via the council’s website and its social media feed.