We’re proud to announced the first of our awards for the past year!
Today we look at the politician who has impressed us most at the local level.
And our choice for Kapiti Coast politician of the year is…
Ross Church’s amazing change of gearBy Alan Tristram
Which means he had to quickly change out of his overalls and into mayoral robes, with his partner Vicki taking over managership of his firm, Kapiti Auto Classics.
‘From zero to hero’ sums up the Ross Church phenomenon.
After deciding to stand for the mayoralty early in the year, he reneged, then came again, as a candidate from behind.
But he won by a handsome margin from incumbent mayor Jenny Rowan (more than 2,000 votes ahead in iteration four; even more in the final vote), who almost all the pundits expected to get back in.
He also beat the popular – and more ‘out there’ politician — Cr K (Guru) Gurunathan in the process.
Ross , who’s run a successful ‘auto classics’ business at Paraparaumu Beach for many years, served his KCDC apprenticeship as a councillor for the past three years; and performed creditably in the 2010 mayoral race against Ms Rowan.
He promised to be conciliatory and available.
And he’s already shown form by defusing the monstrous row over coastal hazard lines — with the KCDC eating humble pie and abandoning its decision to hit some 1800 landowners with new LIM’s (Land Information Memos) which marked their properties as being in hazard areas.
His next big test comes with water meters. These have been installed at great expense and are ready to go — but Ross is firmly on record as consistently voting against them!