Board member offers younger voice

Newly elected ILT board member Louise Evans, of Invercargill.

THE newest board member of Invercargill’s licensing trust describes herself as “youth adjacent” and is excited she will bring a younger voice to the table.

On Thursday, 33-year-old Louise Evans was announced as the winner in the ILT by-election, almost 1300 votes ahead of next closest rival Reece McDonald.

On Monday, the final official count was released with Ms Evans receiving 3041 votes to nearest candidate Reece McDonald who received 1676.

Ms Evans said she was surprised.

“I thought it was going to be much, much closer.”

She was excited with the progress Invercargill was making and knew a younger perspective was important.

“We want to attract and keep our young people down here,” she said.

“We need to be talking to them and making sure their voice is heard.”

Ms Evans said she saw gaps in hospitality options ILT delivered to the younger demographic.

“We want to be able to go to smaller bars and have intimate conversations – not  drinking with our grandmother and nephew both in the same room,” she said.

She hoped the ILT might adopt a policy of local food being used in its establishments.

Ms Evans, who has been chief activator at Coin South for the past two years, said she intended to listen and learn as well as share her opinion.

ILT chief executive Chris Ramsay said he had congratulated Ms Evans on her result.

The position became available after former board member Mike Mika was sworn in as a district court judge in Lower Hutt.

Ms Evans will join the board at its next meeting later this month.

The voter return was 26.27%, being 8,509 votes.