How it looks in Waikato

Tamahere is part of a two-councillor super ward stretching from north-east to Gordonton to Waikato District Council’s southern boundary with Waipā and Hamilton city.

The Tamahere-Woodlands general ward takes in Matangi, Eureka, Hautapu, Tauwhare, Koromatua, Puketaha, Newstead and Pukemoremore.

The ward has a population of around 13,350, or 6675 people per councillor.

Four candidates – three of them newcomers to local government – will vie for the two seats while there are four mayoral contenders, including current deputy mayor and Tamahere ward councillor Aksel Bech.

  • Crystal Beavis is a former Waikato DHB member and Waikato District Council senior communications advisor. She lives in Tamahere.
  • Mike Keir is managing director of JFK Ltd working in the construction industry. He lives in Raglan.
  • Chris Woolerton, born and bred in Horsham Downs, is a dairy farmer in Taupiri and current Hukanui-Waerenga ward councillor.
  • Luke Furborough is a graduate student at Waikato University and swim instructor at St Peter’s School in Cambridge.

Challenging Bech for the mayoralty are Jacqui Church, Korikori Hawkins and Ra Puriri.

  • Danish-born Bech who migrated to New Zealand aged 14, has been on the council in the Tamahere ward since 2016 and deputy mayor for the last three years. He has a business background and was owner of business steel manufacturer NDA Engineering.
  • Korikori Hawkes grew up in Ngāruawāhia, owns a motel in the town and is Waikato-Tainui affiliated. Her father Tauke James Kirkwood was a freezing worker who served two terms as a councillor on the Ngāruawāhia Borough Council back in the 1970s.
  • Ra Puriri was born and raised in Hamilton until 1973 when his family emigrated to Los Angeles. He returned to New Zealand to learn more about his Maori and Samoan culture, history and roots and lives in Raglan.
  • Jacqui Church is into her third term as a district councillor for the Awaroa ki Tuakau ward. She lives beside the awa at Port Waikato and is a business owner.

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