Local elections 2019

Te Awamutu businessman, farming advocate, former vet and first time candidate Andrew MacPherson is calling for Waikato Regional Council (WRC) to develop "sensible" policies to drive the region forward.

Andrew grew up in Te Awamutu, went to Te Awamutu College and worked as a veterinary surgeon in the town for 20 years before moving to Wellington.

He and wife Nic returned to Te Awamutu three years ago and with his feet firmly back in Waipa, he is seeking election to the regional council in October.

It's his first shot at politics and he is aiming to fill the seat being vacated by former Waipa mayor and WRC chairman Alan Livingston.

Advertisement

Alan says Andrew is the "right person for the job with the ability to make a difference".
"Andrew is a very smart guy with top-level experience and a proven ability to think strategically," says Alan.

"He's not going to play politics or get caught up in nonsense. If there's something to be said, he'll say it. We need more of that."

Andrew has extensive business and governance experience.

He is a director of Westland Milk and chairs Sewell Peak Farm Ltd as well as Focus Genetics NZ and Focus Genetics Australia. He has held directorships with AgResearch, the Animal Health Board (now Ospri) and Equestrian Sports NZ.

His science and rural background means he is well informed about water and land management challenges and the views of farmers.

But broader concerns have driven his decision to stand for election to the regional council.

"I'm concerned about some of the pressure being put on the rural sector and I'm uncomfortable with some of the growing inequalities I'm seeing across New Zealand," says Andrew.

"We need policy and tools that build stronger communities, together, not policies which focus on our differences.

Advertisement

"I have a real interest in urban issues as well and in driving economic development in the Waipa and wider Waikato because we all benefit from that.

"For example, there is huge potential for Maori economic development and Maori agribusiness.

"And some of our towns, like Te Awamutu and Cambridge, must be heard loud and clear before the regional council makes decisions which affect all of us."

He wants sensible policy developed which takes the view of "real farmers and real ratepayers" into account. He makes no apologies for being a straight-shooter.

"I'm happy to listen to what people want, argue my case and then reflect on that before coming to a decision," says Andrew.

"But my views will be clear. What I don't like is ill-informed people sitting around a table making decisions on our behalf when they don't have a clue what they're talking about.
"We deserve better than that."

Andrew says while he has plenty to learn about local politics, it's not the politics he's interested in. He just wants the best long-term outcomes for the Waipa and greater Waikato communities and is happy to put his credentials up against anyone.

"Waipa has been good to me and I know I've got some valuable skills and experience to offer," he says.

"It's time I gave something back so I'm happy to put my name forward and in October, local people will decide."