‘Gutted’ after fruitless council bid

"No regrets" . . . Outgoing Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairwoman Sarah Davie-Nitis is regrouping after her unsuccessful election campaign to become a Dunedin City councillor. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

As the shock subsides, outgoing Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairwoman Sarah Davie-Nitis is looking to the future.

Mrs Davie-Nitis said she was “gutted” to have been unsuccessful in her bid to be elected as a Dunedin City councillor earlier this month.

“I thought I had the numbers . . . It’s a bit of a shock.”

Of the nearly 40 candidates, the 14 with the most votes were elected.

Mrs Davie-Nitis’ campaign ended with her in 18th place.

Residents in her hometown of Mosgiel had sent messages of condolence and to tell her of their “shock that I didn’t make it”.

She decided not to stand for the board again because she was “ready for the next step – something new”.

“I’m ready to attack from a different direction . . . something I can sink my teeth into.”

She had hoped that would be as a Dunedin City councillor.

“I’ve got no regrets for not putting my hand up for the board . . . I put all my eggs in one basket and gave it everything and now it’s time to regroup.”

When asked if she would run for council again in 2022, she replied it was “absolutely too soon” to say.

“It is where my heart is – I get a lot of enjoyment out of community development. You want this place to be amazing for your children and for residents,” she said.

Asked if she would have done anything differently in her bid to become a councillor, she said she could have raised her profile by also running for mayor but she did not feel comfortable doing that as it wasn’t something she aspired to at this stage.

She could see the advantages of running for both positions but she would never do that unless she wanted to be mayor and believed she had a realistic chance of being elected.

She spent $4500 on her election campaign – a “token” amount when compared with the budgets of some of the other candidates.

“I can hold my head up high and say I did all I could for this campaign but it wasn’t enough.”