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Sandra Goudie will hang up her mayoral chains after chairing her final meeting on October 4. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Goudie chairs last meeting as Mayor

Sandra Goudie’s final full council meeting as Thames-Coromandel Mayor was a big one.

Not only did she and other elected members vote to press ahead with the Thames and Surrounds Spatial plan and Pollen St Infrastructure Upgrade, she also presented more than a dozen people with community services awards, and thanked retiring councillors Sally Christie, Murray McLean, and Tony Fox for their work this past term. 

For the next three years, Thames-Coromandel District Council will be headed by new Mayor Len Salt. Fresh blood around the table is also guaranteed. 

Sandra, who copped nationwide criticism in 2021 for her refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine, told the public in her closing speech to “never be afraid to express a difference of opinion”.

“Honour our forebears by fighting for our rights and freedoms, so vote, cherish your vote, cherish our democracy, uphold free speech, the right to justice, the right to be treated equally,” she said. 

“I have totally loved my time in local government, working in the real world where common sense can still prevail. Thank you to all for giving me the chance to serve you.”

Prior to the presentations – in which former Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki mayors Glenn Leach, Chris Lux, Basil Morrison, and John Tregidga were also acknowledged – John Morrissey, the only councillor re-elected unopposed for the Coromandel-Colville ward, said he and Sandra “clashed” when he returned to council in 2019.

“I know she thought I was going to be her councillor from hell, but in actual fact, Sandra, I’ve really grown to admire your style, your chairmanship, and you, personally.” 

New chief executive Aileen Lawrie said she looked forward to incoming letters from “ratepayer Sandra”. 

The October 4 council meeting was also the final one for Mercury Bay ward councillors Tony Fox and Murray McLean, and Thames ward councillor Sally Christie, who decided not to stand for re-election.

Each of them thanked their colleagues, staff, and the public for their support throughout their political tenure.