Mayor & Councillors


​​​​​​Our Central Otago District Council is made up of members of the public who are elected to represent you and your community. They were elected in October 2016 and will hold office for a three-year term.

Their job as elected members is to govern and manage the interests of this district on behalf of everyone who lives here. It is also their role to look after the well-being of this community, now and in the future.

The Council is led by the Mayor together with 10 elected Councillors. Their contact details are below should you want to discuss your ideas, issues or concerns.

Council has established a number of committees to oversee the range of responsibilities and services it provides on behalf of this community. Council and its committees meet every six weeks. This is when formal decisions regarding the running of our district are made.

Our Council has also chosen to have four Community Boards to help represent the communities of Central Otago, they are Vincent Community Board, which covers the Earnscleugh/Manuherikia and Alexandra wards, Cromwell Community Board, Maniototo Community Board and Teviot Valley Community Board.

Connect with Your Councillors

Do you have something you or your organisation wish to discuss with your Mayor and Councillors? Consider booking in a 10-minute spot to talk to Councillors before their monthly Council meeting. 

The purpose of Councillor Connection is for individuals or groups in Central Otago to get to speak to the Council about any topic they wish, with a maximum of 10 minutes each. These sessions will be held prior to every Council meeting and speakers can chose to attend in person or connect remotely via teleconference or Skype. You may have a great idea, a pressing concern, a question you always wanted the answer to; the scope is wide open.  

Book your spot

To book your spot please complete the interactive pdf form below, save and email to Alternatively you can pick up a form from any Council service centre or phone 440 0690 and talk to Jackie.


Introducing your Council....

Tim Cadogan (Mayor)

Mobile: 021 639 625

I am married to Linda and between us, we have four wonderful grown-up children and one grandchild.​

Immediately prior to becoming Mayor I had three jobs, being a lawyer specialising in Criminal, Family and Employment Law, a Disputes Tribunal Referee and a Trustee of Central Lakes Trust.  Prior to being a lawyer, my wife and I owned a retail business in Alexandra for a short period of time and prior to that I worked in radio, primarily in Alexandra, for 12 years. 

Very important to who I am today is the role I played when I first came to the region; being a solo father on the benefit with two pre-school children, followed soon thereafter by many years raising those children on one income.  Those times left me always conscious of how hard life can be, both financially and in other ways for some of the people in our region. 

I feel privileged to be the Mayor of this fantastic place and honoured to serve people of Central Otago.


Neil Gillespie (Deputy Mayor)


Phone: 03 445 0669
Mobile: 027 433 4856

My day job sees me employed as a Project Manager with Contact Energy – part of the electricity industry that I've worked in since leaving school in 1978.

I have a passion for Cromwell and the Central Otago district along with a strong commitment to its ongoing growth and prosperity.  I was born in Cromwell and am privileged to have been "back home" since 1985 and, along with Joy, raise our four children here.

I've been a member of the Cromwell Community Board since 1998 and was elected the Chairman in 2001.  I have also been a Cromwell Ward Councillor since 2001 and the Council's Deputy Mayor since November 2010.  I currently chair the Council's Planning and Environment Committee and am a member of the Council's Audit and Risk Committee, Hearings Panel, Emergency Management Committee, Awards Selection Committee and the Executive Committee.

Other interests include being the Deputy Chief Fire Officer with the Cromwell Volunteer Fire Brigade and I'm the Secretary of the Clyde & Districts Emergency Rescue Trust.  I am also a member and past president of the Wanaka Rodeo Club and a Trustee of the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association. 

Central Otago continues to face significant challenges and opportunities as we grow and develop.  As elected members we need to understand the views and needs of the community.  Council shouldn’t be the barrier to these but needs to enable them to be provided for where appropriate while mindful of the costs on the community. 

My extensive experience in the electricity industry and local government together with my other community interests has enabled me to develop an understanding of communities and I’m committed to understanding all views and ensuring they are considered in the decision making process.


Victoria Bonham

Earnscleugh / Manuherikia​

Mobile: 027 509 8041

I believe New Zealand's rural towns and communities are the fabric of real New Zealand and the NZ way of life. No one knows how to best nurture and manage our communities better than the community itself.  Together we can be the change we wish to see in this country by leading the way in environmental care, seeking non-poison alternatives to pest management,  protecting our waterways, upgrading health and support services, encouraging tourism, growing local business and employment, embracing our youth and their future opportunities in Central Otago.

The growth of our area should benefit all who live here not a privileged few, while remembering the greatness of a society and its moral progress is measured by the way it treats its most vulnerable.

I am a long-time local, businesswoman, horse trainer and mother of two. My extensive rural and business background in the animal health and tourism industries has given me a grass roots understanding of our area and community.

I am an experienced journalist, marketing and events organiser and charity coordinator, animal rights campaigner and environmentalist. I always strive for a higher perspective and respectfully embrace the opportunity to represent you and your family on our district council.

Shirley Calvert


Mobile: 021 252 6916

Being born in Cromwell, Central Otago has always been “home”.

Educated at three universities (education, parks and recreation and sport sciences), I taught and lectured before travelling and working with New Zealand Sports teams as a Sports Medic and Massage Therapist.
After taking early retirement, I returned to my roots in Central Otago.

Making submissions to Board and Council for the Community Plan Group gave me an initial understanding of Council processes. I now have three years of hands-on Community Board and Council experience and plan to consolidate this during the next three years.

Being a keen gardener, I try to practice and live by sustainable principles wherever possible. I keep my hand in with Sport Massage, teach Pilates and drive the transfer ambulance for Dunstan Hospital.

Education and presenting clearly understood information to our communities are priorities for me. They are essential for enabling the public to make informed decisions about what they want in their communities.

Establishing a plan for affordable housing is another priority. I also want to see everyone getting the best value from our public resources while being able to preserve and appreciate the unique and special part of the world that is Central Otago.


Lynley Claridge


Phone: 03 448 6942
Mobile: 027 289 1551

I have lived in Central Otago for around 39 years with my husband John and am lucky to have my two sons Chris and James, and their families living nearby.

Previously Associate and Practice Manager in a local accounting firm for 31 years,  Accounting Manager in the gold mining industry and now owner of a funeral business covering Central Otago and Lakes District, I understand issues facing our ratepayers from different perspectives.

I love Central Otago and look forward to being part of the decision making that maximises opportunities for growth, paves the way for our people to grasp opportunities,  and protects this perfect place we call home, a place we and our families can live, work and retire for our lifetimes.

I have previous experience on Council and Community Board, and the Central Lakes Trust, and I welcome discussion with ratepayers who have concerns in the community.

On Council I feel I have a global view of Central Otago, seeing opportunities arising in the area and working with Council to ensure all communities can benefit.


Stuart Duncan


Mobile: 021 224 2320

I am a 49 year old fourth generation farmer from White Sow Valley in the Maniototo.  My wife Lorraine and I have three school aged children.  With my parents we are the owner operators of The Wedderburn Cottages, providing accommodation to users of the Central Otago Rail Trail.

The further development and protection of the Central Otago area is extremely important to me. I believe this can be reached by balancing tradition and history, with fresh ideas and an entrepreneurial focus. It is vitally important that agriculture, being a major contributor to our economy, has a representative and voice around the council table. As a land owner I am able to advocate for farmers on issues relating to water and the land. For my children I want to create an environment of support and opportunity, while retaining the important aspects a lifestyle in a rural community offers.

I bring skills to the Council, that have been developed through our successful businesses and from six years on the Maniototo Community Board. My strong sporting involvement, as committee member of a variety of clubs and a rail trail operator has given me a sound understanding of the recreational requirements of the region.

Throughout my life I have been involved in a wide range of activities and projects.  I relish the challenges that local body politics offer and look forward to continuing to positively channel my determination and energy for the benefit of Central Otago. I feel it is time that my generation steps ups and becomes more involved in shaping the future of our region. ​


Stephen Jeffery

Teviot Valley

Mobile: 027 220 6080

I am a local businessman with interests in fruit growing, packing, exporting and retail. My family has a long history in this valley and I have a passion and a vision for its future. 

In the past I have served several terms on the Roxburgh Community Board, two as Chairman. The past three years I have been the Teviot Valley's Councillor on Council. As well as serving on several committees I am currently chairman of the Roxburgh Gorge/Clutha Gold Trail Trust Company and the Teviot Valley Community Development Scheme. The impetus behind my involvement in these projects is to drive economic development across the Teviot Valley. Without growth it's difficult to maintain existing services.

I think I have proven over the years that I have the ability, drive and commitment to serve this community. 


Nigel McKinlay


Phone: 03 445 4262
Mobile: 027 474 1961

I live in Bannockburn and, with my wife Pauline, own and operate GATE 20 TWO Vineyard.

I have wide experience in manufacturing and retail, have served on several national trade organisations, and belonged for four years to the Small Business Advisory Group, set up in 2002 to advise Cabinet on small business.

I have also served on community groups and am a past president of Dunedin's Fortune Theatre.

This is my second term on Council and my third on the Cromwell Community Board.

I believe strongly in the Cromwell district and in Central Otago. Promoting economic progress, and the cost and efficiency of local government are areas of interest.

For relaxation I enjoy reading, bridge, gardening and tennis.


Martin McPherson


Contact Details
Phone: 03 448 9114
Mobile: 021 879 849

I live in Alexandra with my partner Christine and daughter Sophie.

I believe strongly in promoting Central Otago as an attractive destination for people to live, work and play.

We are entering an exciting time with unprecedented growth in the region.Proposed changes to our District Plan and major infrastructure developments are well underway.

As your Councillor I will be approachable, available and focused on the future, not for the next three years but the next 30. We need to promote ourselves as an attractive destination for investment and lifestyle.​​

This will be my fifth term on Council. I have previously spent five terms as a community board member also. I enjoy the challenges that being an elected member brings and I really enjoy the interaction with the residents of Central Otago.

I am a self-employed contractor specialising in event management and destination marketing.

Malcolm Topliss


Mobile: 027 475 8790

Raised in Frankton, Queenstown I attended St Kevin’s College and then studied accountancy at Otago University. I moved to Ophir with my partner Christine five years ago.

My background is financial and infrastructure management, with significant experience in governance as CEO, Managing Director, and company director, prior to my semi-retirement in 2011.

I am passionate about the future of Central Otago. There is much still to be done for our region to achieve its potential, in particular infrastructure upgrades. My vision for Central Otago is to see sustainable development, respecting the unique geography and history of the region for the long term benefit of future generations. I place importance on building strong business relationships, transparency and openness in consultation and communication.

This is my second term on Council. Over the past term I have represented the Earnscleugh/Manuherikia Ward on the CODC, as well as representing the Council on the Vincent Community Board and several other organisations and committees.

I am confident that both my strong business background and passion for Central Otago provide me with the skills, experience, leadership and motivation to serve the community for a further term.


Dr Barrie Wills


Phone: 03 448 8215
Mobile: 021 138 1988

I was raised on a farm near Timaru, attended Timaru Boys High and received degrees from University of Canterbury.  My wife Ann and I moved to Alexandra in 1978, respectively working at Dunstan High School and the MWD Water & Soil Division and latterly AgResearch.  Our three children attended Alexandra Primary (where I was a Board of Trustees member) and Dunstan High (I was the Electoral Returning Officer there).

Having lived in Alexandra some 38 years, we are active with many community organisations and enjoy gardening and the outdoors environment of Central Otago.

Professionally a scientist with expertise in botany, soils and environmental resource management, I worked in Crown Research Institutes and now as a self-employed consultant (Central Environmental Services) dealing mainly with landowners, mining and development companies and NGOs.  

This is my second term as Alexandra Ward Councillor and fourth term on the Vincent Community Board. This community has served us well and it is challenging but satisfying to be giving something back in return, ensuring Council stays focused on affordable, essential community services.   

I strongly support and encourage growth of innovative and environmentally sustainable primary production of food and fibres in Central Otago and associated service/ educational businesses.  Also upgrading tech-infrastructure that supports IT-dependent business and home-based workplaces; and development of health and recreational facilities (hospitals, museums, trails, heritage, sport, tourism) that will benefit long-term community wellbeing.          

Page reviewed: 29 Jun 2018 1:27pm