A major player in lower North Island forestry, Marton man John Turkington says standing for Horizons Regional Council is a natural extension of his positive contribution to the community.

He was a soil conservator for the catchment board in the 1980s, before that became a regional council function. He also worked for the Environment Ministry before starting his own land use and forestry management company.

Land use and economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development are his passion, he said.

He has more than 25 logging crews out harvesting more than a million tonnes of logs a year across the lower North Island - but is not advocating blanket forestry at the expense of other kinds of land use.


His harvest operations are subject to two abatement notices from Horizons at the moment but he said the remedial work the council requested has been undertaken and he assumes there will be a successful outcome.

His interest on Horizons would be to make sure the council takes a balanced approach to the interface between development and the environment. He said he has a foot in both camps.

What he can bring to the council, he said, is strong leadership, and good organisation and governance and management experience. He expects his council role could take up two days of his working week.

In 1993 Turkington formed his own land use and forestry management company - a one-stop-shop from forest establishment to harvest and marketing. He's also the director of other companies, including AT Wanganui, which is doing industrial development in Whanganui's Mill Rd.

He was involved with demolishing a hotel in Bulls to make room for the Bulls Community Centre, and he is on the board of The Race Inc, which runs horse racing across five lower North Island clubs. He sponsors a lot of sport, especially hockey.

Turkington is married and has two sons. He lives near Marton and said a lot of people already know his views; his council work would be an extrapolation of those.