Dana Wensley- First Woman to Put Her Name Forward for Tasman District Council Elections
“Building a Better Future Together”
With none of the current women councillors standing for re-election, Dana Wensley has responded to the call being the
first woman to put her hand up to stand for the Tasman District Council in the upcoming elections.
Outgoing Richmond councillor Judene Edgar said that she is delighted that Dana has decided to stand. “Based on
conversations we’ve had, Dana has a good understanding of the role and the commitment required. We definitely need
councillors who will respect the privilege of being elected and prioritise the role and the community if elected”, she
Born and raised in Motueka, Dana attended Waimea College and has settled in Richmond after 30 years away to raise her
“This area has so much to offer. I am standing for council because transparency and communication should be the bedrock
of the relationship between council and its people. Recent indications are that this part of the relationship has broken
She brings a strong track record in Board experience, advocacy, and commercial acumen. Prior to raising a family she
worked as a commercial lawyer at Kensington Swan in Auckland. She has a Ph.D. (Medical Law and Ethics) from King’s
College in London. Dana was appointed last year by the Minister of Health to serve as legal representative on the
National Ethics Advisory Committee. She is also a Director on the Copyright Licensing Board, and currently serves as the
consumer representative on the Hospital Advisory Committee of the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.
“Building inclusive communities where health, housing, wellbeing, and infrastructure are seen as interconnected cogs in
the wheel, not disconnected parts of the whole, is what I want to push at the council level.”
Dana is 100% committed to the region. She stood in 2013 for the Motueka Community Board and was the highest polling
female candidate in what became an all male community board. Standing for Tasman District she hopes to bring a woman’s
voice to the council chamber following the decision of Judene Edgar not to stand for re-election.
Dana is no stranger to politics. Her father served on the Tasman District Power Board, and her great grandfather was
twice elected Mayor of Invercargill, and represented the Invercargill electorate in Parliament. Dana has an active
interest in politics, law and society. Her work on issues ranging from the environment to politics and society has been
published in New Zealand and overseas. She is an astute observer of trends in governance both at a local and national
She also volunteers her time to write and produce a radio show ‘Top Writers’ in conjunction with Fresh F.M. Dana is
spokesperson for Friends of Motueka Estuaries, where she coordinates a team to organise the Godwit Festival each year.
“One theme that seems to emerge is that residents feel they are not listened to. When council invests time, energy, and
money in commercial activities to such a degree that it ignores the ‘nuts and bolts’ of its core services then alarm
bells should ring.”