Warwick Hawker is retiring for the third time.

He is leaving his role as Central Otago District Council's economics development manager, after six years, on September 28.

''I thoroughly enjoyed the job with the council and am really grateful for the opportunity,'' Hawker said.

He had earlier retired from his work as a diplomat with the ministry of foreign affairs and trade, serving as trade commissioner in Adelaide, Singapore and Fiji, then was deputy high commissioner in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, then ambassador in Teheran and high commissioner in Tonga.


After three years of retirement, he was then asked to return to work for the ministry for another three years.

''I am not very good at retirement,'' Hawker said.

Following his second retirement he began working for the council.

Now he plans to take part in the goldfields cavalcade, and further develop his Pisa Range vineyard, near Cromwell.

Mr Hawker has helped the region's agriculture, viticulture and horticulture industries to develop domestic growth opportunities and new overseas markets, in particular China.

''I am a bit biased towards China as I have worked there and it is already so important and becoming more so in the future.''

He has also helped develop the fruit growers collective, the Central Otago Premium Fruit Ltd, which is responsible for the region's fruit branding.

He introduced the retail and export forums as networking and support opportunities for businesses.

Mr Hawker has been involved with the Manuherikia water catchment group, which was investigating the best way to use the Manuherikia Valley's available water.

He is disappointed the group's plans to raise the Falls Dam level to increase water storage for irrigation has not made more progress.

He also provided support for businesses, the Clutha gold and the Roxburgh gorge cycle trail trusts, and the establishment of the centre for space science technology.

He and CODC staff member Tara Druce worked on the regional business partner network, something he is pleased with.

He said he had enjoyed working with people at a grass-roots level, compared to earlier roles.

''It is very different as most of work I've done has been at national level and overseas.''

One of his most satisfying roles was helping people doing business overseas.

''Another big thing, which has been really important, was supporting the Central Otago labour market governance group and the labour survey.

''The whole labour issue has been increasing year to year.''

As well as growing pinot noir, pinot gris and riesling, he intends to buy in more grapes to produce his wine and also wants to look at chardonnay, which he thinks is well suited to Central Otago.

- Southern Rural Life