Enthusiasm high to stay in role

By Lawrence Gullery

Rural advocate and incumbent Hastings district councillor Tania Kerr is seeking a second term in public office and will stand in the local government elections in October.

Cr Kerr joined the council after winning a by-election for the rural Mohaka ward in 2008 but had previously worked on the Hastings District Council's rural community board. She was elected in 2010 when she started her first full three-year term.

The Mohaka ward stretched from coastal Whirinaki to Waikare, the flats at Fernhill to Kaweka Range at Kuripapanga, Omarunui river valley to Puketapu and through to stunning yet isolated Pakaututu and north-west on the Napier-Taupo Road beyond Te Haroto.

"This area and its people are where a significant portion of the district's primary produce is grown. It includes sheep, beef and dairy farms, forestry, vineyards and wineries, successful tourism ventures and the most amazing outback country," Cr Kerr said.

She was chairwoman of the council's finance and monitoring sub-committee, chairperson of Hastings District Holdings Limited and a member of the District Plan and Rating Review working parties.

Cr Kerr said it was her five years with the Rural Community Board which had given a deep appreciation of the issues faced by ratepayers in the Mohaka ward.

"I have enjoyed the challenge of my first full term as a councillor and I have worked hard to find solutions and make positive decisions for ratepayers in the ward. My focus has been on improving road safety, particularly school bus routes, and near country schools."

Cr Kerr was also a Hastings council representative on the Hawke's Bay Regional Transport Committee which allowed her to influence where major investment occurred.

"My priority is to ensure the efficient movement of product from the rural hinterland to the port or place of processing. Thus including both rural roads and main access roads.

"I have been vigilant in my quest to keep rural rates at a reasonable level. I am pleased the 2013-14 rates will allow for significant re-investment in the flood damage reserve fund."

She was also employed part-time by Federated Farmers as a regional co-ordinator, an experience which was beneficial in her role as councillor.

She and her husband Andrew had farmed on Glengarry Rd near Rissington since 1990 and their children were Richard and George.

"I have the enthusiasm and experience to continue to represent the Mohaka ward. I understand and identify strongly with issues faced by both rural and semi-rural owners.

"I will always ensure these ratepayers have a strong and effective voice at council."



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