Taranaki Regional councillor to run for Napier council

By Victoria White

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KNOWLEDGE: With 12 years experience as a regional councillor, Moira Irving believes she can contribute positively to the growth of Hawke's Bay through its regional council. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
KNOWLEDGE: With 12 years experience as a regional councillor, Moira Irving believes she can contribute positively to the growth of Hawke's Bay through its regional council. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

After 12 years serving the constituents of Taranaki, Napier resident Moira Irving has announced she will be standing for Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

Ms Irving is currently completing her fourth term on the Taranaki Regional Council, but has called Napier her home for the past two years - moving to take up the role of general manager at The Old Church, Meeanee.

It was her previous experience as a regional councillor which Ms Irving believed made her a suitable candidate for the Napier constituency.

"While every region has different issues to contend with, the underlying requirements for regional councils under the RMA are the same," she said.

"I understand the drivers for regional council and my 12 years of experience in the role of councillor will allow me to hit the ground running in Napier."

Ms Irving said there were "some great initiatives" being undertaken in Hawke's Bay by the current council, including the HeatSmart programme, the contribution to the development of a biodiversity strategy, and the Cape to City possum and predator elimination scheme - which were all excellent examples of a council that understood its business.

Ms Irving said she had a strong interest in economic development and believed regional councils had a role to play in this area.

She was also supportive of the council funding Tourism Hawke's Bay, given tourism's importance to Hawke's Bay's economy.

During her time at The Old Church, Ms Irving said she got to engage with locals and visitors and saw first-hand the value tourism brought to Hawke's Bay - events such as Art Deco weekend, F.A.W.C! and long summers ensured the Church was a busy and popular venue and restaurant.

It was also important for regional councils to be proactive in supporting growth in their areas she said, citing the contribution to Business Hawke's Bay led initiatives.

"Provincial New Zealand provides enormous benefits to the whole of the country and it is appropriate for Regional Councils to be proactive in supporting growth in their regions," she said.

When asked her view on the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, Ms Irving said she was supportive of anything which grew jobs, and revenue in the region.

However she had concerns about the communication on the scheme with the public, and the "complicated process" which seemed to have divided opinion.

"The dam issue is an example of how important communication is, and keeping communities connected."

She said, "as a good councillor I support the views of the community and advocate appropriately.

"One should never be scared of asking the hard questions.

"In [my] opinion good governance means ensuring that the Council has strong policies and processes in place which are rigorously reviewed by Council through both its Long Term and Annual plans."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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