Kapi-Mana News : April 2nd 2013
TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2013 PORIRUA CITY & TAWA www.kapimananews.co.nz INSIDE: THAT WAS THEN 7 | OPINION 10 | WEEKLY WORKOUT 18 | CLASSIFIED 48 | SPORT 52 Even foes back Leggett By KRIS DANDO Nick Leggett: Safe bet Litea Ah Hoi: Once was enough Liz Kelly: Unlikely A strong opponent to contest the Porirua mayoralty with Nick Leg- gett is looking unlikely at the upcoming elections. Of his main rivals for the vacant role in 2010, when Jenny Brash stood aside, none are expec- ted to stand again in October. In fact, the consensus among them is Mr Leggett is doing an excellent job promoting Porirua nationally and providing sound leadership locally. I've got no quarrels with what he is doing, there is absolutely no way I'll be having another go,'' ex- Labour Party minister and diplo- mat Russell Marshall said. Con- sidered a strong contender, he won 1263 votes to Mr Leggett's 5930 three years ago. Litea Ah Hoi, who took second place with 2973 votes, was typi- cally blunt. Don't be daft, are you kidding? He'll wipe the floor with anyone who stands,'' she said. Once was enough and I hones- tly think Nick is doing a good job. Why would you want to change something that is working?'' Ms Ah Hoi did confirm she would be seeking to retain her Eastern Ward seat on the council. Longtime Porirua resident and former race relations conciliator Gregory Fortuin polled third in 2010 with 2432 votes but said people have made their choices''. He felt three years was not long enough for Mr Leggett to complete what he had started and hoped voters would give the mayor a sec- ond term. Titahi Bay resident Mike Dun- can, who secured 1104 votes, said he would not be standing while deputy mayor Liz Kelly (1705 votes) would not return calls from Kapi-Mana News last week, but had earlier indicated she would not contest the mayoralty. The only confirmed contender at this point is Papakowhai man Brian Collins, who received just 454 votes in 2010, but there has been talk of a faction trying to convince former-All Black Norm Hewitt to contest the mayoralty. Mr Leggett said he considers it an honour and a privilege'' to be Porirua's civic leader and would love to continue being at the fore- front of the council. We have a good team who are working hard together on a vision, which sees additional investment, and an improved city centre and place for people to live and work. Part of my job is to sell Porirua and I'm proud of the direction we're taking.'' He does not expect Mr Collins to be his only opponent, and would prefer it that way. He says it is healthy for democracy to have incumbents -- and what they stand for -- challenged. Meanwhile, Mr Leggett is dis- appointed e-voting is unlikely to be implemented in time for the October elections, saying it is an opportunity lost to turn around the woeful voting numbers, especially among young people. For the two Porirua-Tawa seats on Greater Wellington Regional Council, Jenny Brash and Barbara Donaldson will be chal- lenged by John Burke. He was ousted by Ms Brash in 2010 but confirmed he will be back for another campaign. Ms Brash says she has enjoyed a fascinating'' three years and is hopeful of another term. No home games Rugby-mad: Christina Zier, who hails from Washington state, has moved to Porirua to sharpen her rugby skills. Don't be surprised if you hear a distinctive American twang from the field during the Northern United women's games this season. Kris Dando reports. From America's Pacific Northwest to Porirua -- that's some distance to go to improve your rugby. Christina Zier, from Washing- ton state, had been encouraged to further her ambition of making the US national side by playing in New Zealand. Wellington Rugby Union put the 24-year-old in touch with former-Black Fern and Northern United women's coach Aimee Sutorius. Next thing she knew, Zier was lacing up her cleats'' for training in the Natone Park twilight. I've already learned a lot and the girls have made me feel really welcome, helping me out. I love the feel of Porirua, I'm from a small town [near Seattle], so it feels right,'' she says. Zier, who'll likely be known as Beanz'' by team-mates -- a play on her middle name Bryanne -- is a late-comer to rugby. She was introduced to the game seven years ago at her university and fell in love with the dynamics. Zier plays hooker, so defence, lineouts and hitting rucks are her strengths, which she wants to improve here in New Zealand. Some of the US [players] tal- ked about playing abroad, saying it opens up your game. I can see why, the drills are short and sharp, everyone knows what's going on here.'' Rugby has strongholds in the US, especially on the East Coast in cities such as Boston. In Seattle there are only two teams who must travel, at their own expense, to Oregon, California and Arizona to find opponents. Rugby is a pretty small com- munity in the US, but sevens is appealing to more people.'' Zier hopes to impress enough to make the Norths starting lineup, play a full winter and then head back in time for the American rugby season. The ultimate goal is to represent the United States at the 2014 World Cup. Frequent sessions on Skype with her family are helping Zier combat the homesickness. In between her rugby and working as a personal trainer, she hopes to travel the country.
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