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Waihī candidates answered questions from the public on Friday. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Waihī meets its council candidates

Waihī candidates hoping for a seat around Hauraki District Council’s table were asked whether or not they had attended a public meeting in the three-years leading up to the local elections.
They were also asked about Three Waters, the Treaty of Waitangi, and their favourite thing about the town at the well-attended Meet the Candidates event hosted by Waihī Greypower.
There are five vacancies for the Waihī ward, and seven vying for the spots. They are: Sarah Holmes, Sara-Ann Howell, Josh Martyn, Bhavesh Ranchhod, Austin Rattray, Amanda May Ryan, and Anne Marie Spicer.


The ward is as hotly contested as the Plains ward – which only has room for four seats – and includes current councillors Anne Marie Spicer and Sara-Ann Howell hoping for reelection.
Austin Rattray, who was a councillor for the ward in 2016-2019, is also vying for a return to council.
At the meeting on September 23, those new to local politics were asked by a member of the public if they had ever attended a council meeting or hearing in the past three years.
Sarah Holmes, a former HDC staffer, said she couldn’t “count the number of council meetings” she had been to, adding that she had organised hearings for council’s Long Term Plan.
Josh Martyn said he had not been to any local council meetings, but had attended council meetings in other districts, such as Wellington, where he used to reside.
Amanda May Ryan said she also had not been to a HDC meeting, but would be attending the next one.
Bhavesh Ranchhod said he had attended “a few” meetings and had made submissions on the various policies the council had proposed.
Austin Rattray said since leaving council at the end of 2019, he had taken on a role of district plan commissioner, and had submitted on “a lot” of the council hearings.
Anne Marie Spicer is hoping for a third term on Hauraki District Council, while it would be Sara-Ann Howell’s second term, if successful.
DETAILS: Votes must be in by midday, October 8. For more info about your candidates, visit