Monique Croon had a very close call on Saturday to getting the top job of the Chatham Islands Council, with eight votes between her and fellow candidate Greg Horler.
But yesterday, on the council’s website, it was confirmed that Croon (Ngāti Mutunga) had been re-elected mayor thanks to the release of the final results. Those same results also showed that for the first time there are more women than men around the decision-making table for the Chatham Islands.
Croon will be sworn in on October 20, along with her fellow councillors.
Croon wants more Moriori at the council table.
Talking to teaomāori.news today, her election campaign was quite different from her first as she juggled it with the closing of her hardware and fuel stores earlier this year. She says that though it wasn’t an easy time for her, she is glad to be back as mayor.
“I have put my heart and soul into this role and I just love advocating and supporting our community.
“It just feels like home and I’m so proud to be able to give back to the island what it has given back to us.”
Government reforms like Three Waters are a key challenge for her local government. She hopes the funding that comes from it will be used for upgrades on wharves and housing.
With Moriori language and culture revitalisation efforts continuing on the island, Croon says the council is developing a closer relationship with the people “as a Treaty partner”, as Moriori progress with work post-settlement which happened last year.
“We’re thinking about our future for our island governance for the next 30 years, and I think we need to have Moriori represent a voice on our table from a local government perspective and also, equally, a Ngāti Mutunga one as well.”