Councillors celebrate

By Alice Lock

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Team celebration: L-R: Tom Belford, Rex Graham, and Rick Barker celebrate after being re-elected in to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council. Photo/ Paul Taylor.
Team celebration: L-R: Tom Belford, Rex Graham, and Rick Barker celebrate after being re-elected in to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council. Photo/ Paul Taylor.

Family and friends of the newly elected councillors celebrated with a few beers and a live band at a Hastings bar this afternoon.

Tom Belford, Rick Barker and Rex Graham revelled together after all getting re-elected on to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council as part of the Hastings ward.

"It is wonderful to be able to relax with my team. We are such a tight knit group so when we all found out we were on together we definitely had to celebrate," Mr Belford said.

He spent three hours this morning taking down his signs so felt a few beers this afternoon were well earned.

"It is just a big long exhale. I am so relieved and my daughter has also come down from Auckland so it is lovely," he said.

Mr Barker said he was equally pleased and was going to enjoy today before thinking about what needed to be done tomorrow.

"Us three have had huge messages of support so now the public will expect us to deliver and that is exactly what we will aim to do."

Mr Graham said he was thrilled they made it and worked together because they genuinely liked each other rather than it being a political concept.

"We get along so well, so it is great we can all come down here and enjoy it amongst our friends and family."

Damon Harvey who was elected on to the Hastings District Council for the first time had his whole crew at the bar and said it was "awesome".

"Four out of the five daughters could make it and now we can all enjoy the moment. I am certainly relieved it is over, as you can see the numbers everyday but you have no idea how many votes you have yourself."

Malcolm Dixon who is about to serve his second term on the Hastings District Council was celebrating with his wife and friends at the bar.

"I am just delighted to be back on and am looking forward to it with a lot of new blood coming through. There is a nice balance of age, ethnicity and experience."

He said he was having friends and family around to his home later to continue the celebration with some quality whitebait on offer.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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