The local body elections are being held on October 8 when voters will elect representatives in the Whangarei, Far North and Kaipara district councils, the Northland Regional Council and Northland District Health Board. Nominations open on July 15 so we thought we'd approach sitting members of the councils to find out if they would stand again and ask what their biggest contribution has been to their council. Today we look at the NRC:
Bill Shepherd (Chairman, Coastal North)
First term councillor. Did not say whether he would run again. Placed emphasis on collaboration within NRC and between councils in the region. Had helped reorganise NRC to deliver on Long Term Plan objectives. Part of convincing NZTA to accelerate planning for an integrated Northland arterial network of state highways, including a four-lane expressway from Auckland to Whangarei, and converting the Mangakahia Rd from the Portland turnoff to Kaikohe into SH15.
Graeme Ramsey (Deputy Chairman, Kaipara)
Too early to comment on the upcoming elections.
Monty Knight (Te Hiku)
First term regional councillor. Running again in 2016. Mr Knight joined NRC in March 2015 following the death of councillor Denis Bowman. Joined mid-term and stepped up quickly. Used learnings from FNDC and has served the Environmental Management, Economic development, Finance, Regional Policy committees and chaired the Doubtless Bay Catchment group. Formed good working relationships with fellow councillors especially those from neighbouring wards. Was on Te Oneroa a Tohe Beach Management Board and saw the development of a management plan for the area as important.
Joe Carr (Hokianga-Kaikohe)
Third term regional councillor. Running again in 2016. Helped refocus NRC on its core responsibility as a catchment commission. Said that for years the council thought it could discharge its responsibilities to the holistic management of the environment solely by regulation and was pleased to be part of changing this. Contributed to a "can do" council with leading initiatives that have made Northland a markedly safer place with a statistically verifiable trend of significant water quality improvement.
Dover Samuels (Coastal North)
Has served two terms. Running again in 2016. Brought vast experience, an awareness of planning around central government changes and kept a watch on "unnecessary bureaucracy" in this regard. Has brought important issues - such as the ownership of water - to the forefront in council debate. Believed water should be vested in the Crown by clear legislation conferring guardianship (kaitiaki) on behalf of all New Zealanders.
Paul Dimery (Coastal Central)
No response received.
John Bain (Whangarei Urban)
Third term councillor. Did not say whether he would run again. Contributed to policies that maintained NRC's "very conservative" financial portfolio, returning a significant rates reduction to Northlanders. Chaired the Regional Transport Committee which had helped gain a new state highway for the region and obtained the highest NZTA subsidy of any NZ council.
David Sinclair (Whangarei Urban)
First term councillor. Running again in 2016. Secured annual funding for the Seacleaners Charitable Trust through the Long Term Plan. Seacleaners organises volunteers to collect rubbish from coastal areas and educates people about how rubbish gets into the sea in the first place. Has been a passionate advocate for Northland as chairman of the Economic Development Committee.
Craig Brown (Coastal South)
Fourth term councillor. Running again in 2016 Said it would be difficult to narrow a single achievement.
Worked within a whole council, was responsive to the community and its concerns. Involved with advocating for economic development, worked to improve the image and fortunes of Northlanders across the board, and towards shedding the "poor cousin" image of Northland.