"Policy over politics" is how Martin Williams will approach his local government role if he is voted onto the regional council this October.

Launching his run for a Napier seat yesterday, the local lawyer said he was "incredibly excited" about the opportunity to stand, that it would allow him to "make a real positive contribution to Hawke's Bay".

Mr Williams said what brought this decision to a head was the degree of "politicking" and the "divisive" nature of current council debate over such issues as the Ruataniwha dam, water take bans based on limits set to protect aquatic habitats within the region's rivers, and the exporting of bottled water.

"I would like to work towards a more collaborative culture within council as it tackles these issues in future, where differences of view are respected and shared around the council, table rather than through letters to the editor or Talking Points."


Mr Williams has 20 years experience practising in resource management and local government law, which he considers leaves him well placed to tackle the challenging resource management issues facing the council.

While Mr Williams represented HBRIC through the Board of Inquiry process on the Ruataniwha dam, Mr Williams said: "I would be promoting an approach of 'policy over politics' where I make any decisions on the merits of what is in front of me."

In addition to a law degree Mr Williams has a first class honours degree in biological science, and has chaired a number of associations and trusts. Married with two children, he made Hawke's Bay his home in 2008.

"I am committed to this region. It is an outstanding place to live. We need to look after it for our children and for future generations to follow," he said.