South Waikato District Mayor Jenny Shattock is to retire after 24 years in local government. Photo / Provided
Outgoing South Waikato District Mayor Jenny Shattock is preparing to retire from local government in October and says she will leave council proud of what it has accomplished for the community.
Shattock was the district’s first female mayor and has 24 years with South Waikato District Council this year.
“I had nine years as a councillor, nine years as deputy mayor and for six years I had the town hall. It’s time to move on… We need someone younger, with more diverse ideas.
Shattock says the district faced a few challenges during his time on council, including a declining population.
“But we are thriving…South Waikato has become a place of choice, people want to come here to live, work and play.
“We’ve also attracted a few new businesses to the area, including [agriculture business] OLAM and the South Waikato Trades Training Center. We upgraded downtown Tokoroa, built 600 new sections… [and] we started work on the sports and events center which is a real jewel in our crown.
“Now we have to keep the accelerator going.”
However, she says there are still challenges ahead. “Economic development, local government reform and environmental challenges to name a few. But nothing local government can’t cope with.”
Looking back on her time with the council, Shattock says it was more exciting than she initially thought.
“There’s always something going on. [But] it was also a lot more difficult and time consuming than I thought.”
Her favorite part was the civic ceremonies. “Welcoming new people to our community. It was always very special.”
When asked what she will miss the most from the board, she replied, “I will miss everything, but I chose to leave. My husband Phil retired a few years ago and I can’t wait. to spend more time with him. We also have five grandchildren who are growing up too fast.”
Shattock says she and her husband also have travel plans and the list includes Wales, Scotland and China.
Prior to becoming a councillor, Shattock worked as a manager in downtown Tokoroa and at local radio station Raukawa FM.
In her role as leader of the community group Tokoroa A Naturally Growing Success (TANGS), she helped set up the city’s grassroots voice hubs.