Councillor Rex Graham shows no hesitation in announcing candidacy

By Victoria White

Rex Graham.
Rex Graham.

Following an "interesting and sometimes turbulent" first term as a Hawke's Bay regional councillor, Rex Graham is putting up his hand for another three years.

The incumbent councillor said he had no hesitation in announcing his candidacy for a Hastings ward seat in the upcoming local body elections.

"The job that I went in to do is only partly done," he said.

Mr Graham, who was born and educated in Hawke's Bay, said he was proud of what he had achieved this term, including involvement with the new Waitangi Park, and raising the capital of Cape to City projects.

However, there was still a lot of work to be done in the region.

"We've done a lot of damage to our environment over the last 100 years and it needs to be fixed," he said. "It's going to be very challenging, but it's important that it's done. We will only make this happen if we work together as a region and everyone does their bit."

There were "huge" issues facing the region, from hill country and coastal erosion and global warming to polluted streams and rivers.

A representative of the Hastings ward, Mr Graham said one of the challenges facing it was water security for growers in the Twyford, and Gimblett Gravels districts.

Although this had been behind his decision to stand for council in 2013, Mr Graham said this had not been resolved.

"We've taken a huge step forward with global consents but we still haven't secured water security for our growers ... if we got a really big drought, we'd still be challenged," he said.

Mr Graham said enterprising farmers and horticulturists needed to be supported to create wealth and jobs, but this had to be done in harmony with the environment.

"There is absolutely no point in us having more wealth if we can't drink the water or swim in our rivers, lakes and sea," Mr Graham said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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