Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Mum of 5 makes a bid for Christchurch City Council

Mum of 5 makes a bid for Christchurch City Council

When announcements were made last year for the proposed mergers and closures of Christchurch schools, Melanie Riwai-Couch stood down from her contract with the National Office of the Ministry of Education so that she could lead opposition to her children’s school merger. She was successful.

For Riwai-Couch the experience highlighted Christchurch’s vulnerability when decisions are made away from the communities who are most affected. Now, she is standing in the local body elections for Councillor in the Spreydon-Heathcote Ward.

“We need leadership in Christchurch that works with and for the well being of our own communities. Schools, churches, sport clubs, marae and many other community organisations are looking after the immediate welfare of Christchurch people, and we need to make sure that the city is looking after them.”

Riwai-Couch believes that the council needs to be energized with a new generation of inspirational and intelligent leadership that reflects modern needs and aspirations of Christchurch families and businesses.

The thirty-eight year old hopes that her candidacy will provide residents with the opportunity to vote for someone who they can relate to and has the right balance of youth and experience.

“Whether it is raising a family, finding a park at the netball courts, paying the bills, building a house or running a business - It helps when you know that those representing you understand the realities you are faced with every day.”

Riwai-Couch’s husband Jared runs their family business and is the grandson of the late Hon. Ben Couch. They have lived in Somerfield for nearly thirteen years and they have five children aged 3 – 12 years. The family has strong links to Ngāi Tahu through Rapaki Marae (Lyttleton) and their children are bilingual in Māori and English.

For nine years Riwai-Couch trained secondary school teachers as a Senior Lecturer at the Christchurch College of Education, she worked for Ngāi Tahu as their Education Facilitator for two years and then became a Senior Adviser for the National Office of the Ministry of Education. She is experienced with governance, strategic planning, running selection panels and contract management.

In addition to her professional experience, Riwai-Couch is a registered teacher, has a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education, a Masters degree with Distinction from the University of Canterbury and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Education.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Panic In The Pacific Over China

For years, it has been no secret that China wants closer security and trade ties with the small nations of the Pacific region. All part of Beijing’s self-image as a global superpower. To that end this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on an unprecedented 10-day tour of the Pacific, aimed at convincing his Pacific hosts to join a cross-Pacific agreement that would let Beijing provide them with high-level police training and security, shared data co-operation and other joint services ranging from agriculture to tourism...


Crime: Govt Helps Protect Shops From Ram Raids

The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says... More>>

Government: Investment Boosts Coastal Shipping In Aotearoa
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

Government: New Zealand To Stay At Orange For Now
With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>

Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>

National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>




InfoPages News Channels