Most residents don’t get a chance to see what happens behind the scenes in Whangārei District Council, but as a long time Councillor, Merv Williams witnessed Sheryl Mai’s work ethic and commitment to her job on a daily basis.

“I was a councillor alongside Sheryl for two terms, from 2004 to 2010,” says Mr Williams. “During this time, she impressed me as the hardest working councillor. Sheryl decided not to stand for election in 2010, and instead, she travelled to Europe for an extended OE.  Halfway through that term it became obvious that we would need a new Mayor at the next election. It did not take long for me to decide that Sheryl was the person for the job, and I emailed her asking that she consider coming home and standing for the position. She took some convincing, but I continued to email her, with the subject line Mai for Mayor – and the rest is history.” 

Merv Williams says as a councillor and as a Mayor, Sheryl has always been at the call of her constituents, attending all community meetings and events when possible.  

“She is hard working, genuine and researches her topics well. She impressed me with her ability to speak and argue points, while at the same time she was always receptive to others’ points of view. 

“Sheryl’s leadership style is more cooperative rather than domineering, but she is very strong in standing up for things that she believes in. She has led a sometimes-disparate team of councillors well, continuing the District’s development within budgetary constraints,” says Mr Williams. 

“Sheryl is passionate about the future of our district and is doing a great job.”