I am letting everyone know I won’t be standing for re-election as Mayor in October.
I’ve had a great six years with a lot of hard work and this has been a hard decision to make. It is tempting to stay on because it is such an exciting time for our fast growing city but I have achieved what I set out to do back in 2010. I’ll be returning to my legal career following the elections in October.
When I was first elected I walked into a financial mess. There were some tough decisions to make in those first years. It wasn’t just the V8s. The city was spending more than it was receiving in income and debt was heading towards $830mil. It is really satisfying to see how well the city’s books look today, better than expected. And we’ve still been able to make a significant investment in infrastructure and community assets like playgrounds.
I can look back on lots of achievements. But the main ones are sorting out the finances and balancing the city’s books, finally getting a plan for the Waikato River (the River Plan) after 30 years of failed attempts, and establishing partnership funding for major city projects.
I think Julie has been a very successful Mayor. The previous Council made some disastrous decisions, and the Hamilton City Council is now in a much much better state than previously.
It is always a good idea to get out on top, rather than try to be Mayor for life. Get some achievements and then move on.
Hardaker is the first Hamilton Mayor this century to be re-elected.