Media Release

Rachel Reese seeks re-election to Nelson Mayoralty 

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese has today confirmed that she is seeking re-election as mayor in the upcoming body elections to be held in October. 

Following a successful first term in the role, Reese says her decision is based on a determination to see through investment strategies, environmental projects and essential infrastructure upgrades already underway, and to ensure that the city’s spending continues to deliver the most benefits to the largest number of residents. 

“Like any regional centre, Nelson has aspirations for development as well as many essential services that need to be maintained”, says Reese. “The role of leadership is to ensure that we get the investment balance correct in terms of delivering things that matter to the whole community. Naturally we must pursue opportunities for growth, but that can’t be at the expense of protecting what already makes Nelson an outstanding place to live, work and visit.” 

Reese, whose strong business background has provided Council with considerable fiscal capability throughout her inaugural term, cites the Haven, Marina and Riverside Precincts as being particular projects that can deliver long-term gains for the city. However according to Reese, a key part of progressing these projects successfully is advancing each stage in a coordinated manner that will ensure appropriate commercial, environmental and infrastructural foundations are in place in order to deliver both commercial and lifestyle benefits to the community long term. 

Explains Reese, “If we can enter into project partnerships that share the load from ratepayers then these should be explored thoroughly – whether through engagement with local groups, central government, or with investors from further afield who are identifying Nelson as a city with a bright future. The potential is undoubtedly there for others to share the costs and also benefit from the outcomes.” 

“We’ve also got projects underway in the CBD and Stoke and I want to develop these further over the next three years. Our CBD is the biggest centre in the top of the South Island and we must ensure that it is an accessible and attractive destination for locals and visitors. Stoke is the fastest growing suburb in our city area and we will continue to invest in this community,” says Reese. 

Reese’s commercial know-how, fiscal prudence and open engagement with the community have been trademark characteristics throughout her time as both a Nelson City Councillor and Mayor. With a track record of achievement, Reese is adamant that the role of Mayor is not about taking the easy options or saying what people want to hear. “I understand that talking about stormwater, sewerage or transport linkages is not as exciting as talking about new venues or events, but at the end of the day if we don’t have solid foundations to support our ambitions then any visions of future prosperity will remain just visions. 

In nominating Reese for the 2016 Nelson Mayoralty, local business leader Murray Sturgeon seemed to have little doubt that he was backing the right candidate. “I have nominated Rachel Reese to stand as Mayor of Nelson City because during her first term Rachel has demonstrated a leadership style that I have been impressed with”, he said. “I believe the City is in good hands under her guidance and therefore strongly urge residents to cast their vote for Rachel Reese.” 

Fellow nominator and educator Alison Mc Alpine was equally confident that Reese is in line for a further term. “Leading a Council is not for the inexperienced or the naïve”, states Mc Alpine. “It requires strong financial acumen, sound management capability, balanced thinking and a keen mind. With Rachel Reese we’ve found a Mayor with all that and more. I’d like to see her stay in the role and continue to move things forward in the way she has throughout her first term.” 

Reese and her fiancée Richard Harden raised their children in Nelson and are active in local sports, business and community organisations. Reese is a committed Rotarian and enjoys spending time in the outdoors or reading a good novel. 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed leading our city”, says Reese. “We’re a great community and it has been an absolute privilege to work with people from all walks of life. I have the energy, foresight and ability to commit full time to a further term as Mayor of Nelson. I look forward to seeing Nelson prosper.” 

For further information, contact: 

Rachel Reese
Tel: 027 548 3021