Ellis leaves for new start

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By Linda Clarke

Former Ashburton District Councillor Russell Ellis says he is, as the song says, off to “get a haircut and get a real job”. Sadly, it won’t be in Mid Canterbury.

Mr Ellis has sold his kitchen joinery business and is moving to Upper Hutt to join his wife Jackie, who has been working there for the past three years.

The popular councillor was ousted from last year’s local body elections because of a technical error on his nomination paper.

He said he had mixed emotions about leaving the district but was looking forward to being with family and catching up a long list of jobs on the couple’s lifestyle block.

The couple have twin sons – Cameron is studying psychology at the University of Otago and David is studying law in Wellington. The twins recently celebrated their 20th birthday.

Mr Ellis said the couple had made a huge decision three years ago for him to stay in Ashburton and run for council. They had revisited that decision recently and now he was choosing a new challenge in Wellington.

“Having to write a CV for myself for the first time in my life, at the age of 50-odd, is scary when you have been self-employed.”

But he has many skills. Mr Ellis set up Kitchen Express in Ashburton 11 years ago, having moved to the district from Nelson four years previously. The kitchen business has been sold to Adrian Bruhns and the family bach at Rakaia Huts is also up for sale.

Mr Ellis was chairman of the council finance committee and held in high esteem.