Mayor Rachel Reese of Nelson: A Compassionate Leader

Mayor Rachel is recognised as a trusted and empathetic leader who builds relationships with people from different backgrounds. She is the first person who receives Vital Voices awards in her act of supporting outstanding women political leaders. Under her leadership in Nelson City, Mayor Rachel made her city prepared in dealing with the outbreak by learning from experience, encouraging housing intensification, and creating a welcoming community for immigrants.

Having experience in handling the outbreak in November and December 2021, Mayor Rachel had a discussion with the councillors to anticipate the following waves. That being said, testing stations have been set up and vaccinations are in progress. Types of vaccinations include first vax, second vax, and boosters. Furthermore, accommodations are available in certain areas for those tested positive. Mayor Rachel also provides welfare support for those who need furniture, food parcels, gas, and electric vouchers for the community’s convenience. These actions have helped to prevent immense dissemination earlier. As a result, when the Omicron breakout, facilities are ready for the community to use.

Mayor Rachel has also focused on housing intensification as Nelson is one of the least affordable cities for housing in New Zealand. In calling for a higher priority from the central government, Mayor Rachel had a meeting over Zoom with the government and wrote to the Minister of Housing to include Nelson City in the prioritising effort and investment. Mayor Rachel also shared that Nelson did its part by collaborating with private developers to submit projects to the Housing Acceleration Fund and made a pledge to “bring forward infrastructure to unlock housing.”

Finally, Mayor Rachel together with the Tasman District Council and Hastings District Council will continue the Immigration New Zealand programme to build integrated communities. Mayor Rachel is convinced that a programme is an important tool as immigrants feel included no matter their culture and background.

Being the first female mayor of Nelson, Mayor Rachel Reese has shown her focus on society. She focuses on the community’s health and shelter by preparing for Omicron breakout, encouraging house intensification, and creating a welcoming community for the immigrants. Her actions show her commitment and compassion towards Nelson city and the people.