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Thursday 26 September 2019
Once every three years, an important occasion rolls around for communities across the country that determines the priorities, decisions, and outcomes that will affect local people. I'm speaking, of course of the local government elections, and now is that all-important time to decide who you would like to represent you around the Ashburton District Council table.
Voting is now open for elections until 12 noon, Saturday 12 October. If you are an enrolled voter, your ballot papers should have arrived in your mailbox in the last few days, as they began distribution on 20 September.Your voting papers are powerful documents. They are your opportunity to influence local democracy and make your voice heard. They are your chance to consider what's important to you and select officials that you believe will most effectively represent those views.For our district, elections are being held for the mayoralty; the Ashburton, Western and Eastern Wards; and the Ashburton Licensing Trust. Four nominations were received for five vacancies to the Methven Community Board, and therefore these candidates have been declared elected. A by-election will be called for the remaining vacancy later this year.
In addition to the Council, you are also invited to elect representatives for Environment Canterbury and the Canterbury District Health Board.
Local governments make decisions that affect infrastructure, services, and activities that you use and access every day. It's the water coming out of your taps, the roads you drive on, the community halls and facilitates you go to, the funding your community group applies for, and the attraction of investment and business to town that creates jobs and supports economic growth.
Being able to choose who makes these decisions on your behalf is an opportunity I strongly urge all voters to take up.This chance only comes around once every three years, so be sure to make your voice heard this election.Whether you are young, old, working, retired, studying, have a family, are independent, have lived here all your life or have not long come to the Ashburton District, the local government elections are for you.
Don't neglect the special envelop that might be sitting on your kitchen table. Fill out the ballot papers, put them into the pre-paid envelop and drop them into the post no later than Tuesday 8 October, or alternatively, take them to the Council office by 12 noon, 12 October.