Hawke's Bay regional councillor Tom Belford has announced he will be re-standing for council at this year's elections.

Belford, who currently represents the Hastings constituency, said he hopes voters will endorse the direction the current council has taken, primarily the focus on environmental issues.

"At a personal level, I am challenged and excited by the opportunities ahead.

"The region's environment and growth challenges are not issues that simply 'pop up' on my agenda at election time.


"And they are not issues that can be resolved by casual attention, off-the-cuff analysis and behind-the-curve thinking."

He said if he is voted back on to council, he wants to focus on "getting it right" when it comes to water.

"Whether the issue is ecosystem protection and mauri, safe drinking water, swimmable rivers and beaches, water bottling, protecting aquifers and marine fisheries, or water security for growers.

"Protecting and enhancing our irreplaceable soils, which should serve as water and carbon sponges, but now erode by millions of tonnes per year into our rivers and ultimately our marine environment, fouling both."

He said he also wanted to help food producers create more sustainable long-term value, and make Hawke's Bay a leading region in New Zealand in terms of responding to global warming.

He said he is proud to have spent the past term as a regional councillor, working on a team that has prioritised the council's primary environmental mission.

He said putting $30 million into erosion control, riparian planting and stock exclusion from waterways, making a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040, and having an "unrelenting" focus on water quality issues across the region were all tangible examples of what the council had done over the past three years.

Nominations for this year's local body elections open on Friday, with postal ballots being delivered to voters from September 20.


Voting papers must be returned to council by October 12, with official election results being announced October 17-23.