Kaipara elects first mayor in four years

Kaipara's new mayor, Greg Gent (Newshub.)
Kaipara's new mayor, Greg Gent (Newshub.)

Democracy has returned to Kaipara after four years of rule by central government.

The Kaipara District Council was dissolved four years ago in the wake of ratepayer protests over a doomed 80 million-dollar sewerage scheme in Mangawhai.

The sewerage scheme saw rates for some residents rise more than 300 percent.

New mayor Greg Gent faces the tough task of trying to heal old rifts between residents and the council.

"I think we've gotta build a lot of credibility. We've gotta earn trust as a community that we're capable of Governing Kaipara well"

Mr Greg Gent says lack of experience is a weakness the new council will need to address.

"Making sure they get appropriate training is crucial at 100 staff and $60 million of revenue it's a reasonable sized operation we've got to run."

He says that while it is good to have democracy back in Kaipara, he supported the involvement of government.

"It's great to have it [democracy] back but I think everyone appreciated we needed a period of autocratic rule... the size of the problem meant that it needed decisive action by experienced people."

Democracy may be back, but trust could take a little more time.