The electoral broom has swept through Horizons Regional Council with at least five new councillors heading to the Palmerston North meeting room after the preliminary count from Saturday.

Wanganui is providing two newcomers with David Cotton and Rod Pearce elected - gone is incumbent Greg Cox.

Businessman and farmer, Mr Cotton said he wanted to make Horizons more accountable for its spending so now has that chance.

"I'll spend the first three months getting my feet under the table so I won't go there with any preconceived ideas," he said.


He said he would be targeting two key areas during his term - to stay in touch with the ratepayers and make sure they stayed in touch with him.

He said Greg Cox deserved a vote of thanks for the work he had put in as councillor.

Mr Pearce farmed 1500ha in the Waitotara Valley for 54 years and was also the founding chairman of the Waitotara Meat Company, which later merged with Richmond Ltd and then was sold to Silver Fern Farms.

Now retired to Wanganui, he said he would carry two main agenda items to the regional council table. "There still needs to be some refinement to the One Plan, and I want the council to look closely at the management and, dare I say it, containment, of the Resource Management Act."

He said he would also be pushing to raise the profile of Horizons in the Wanganui community.

"During my campaigning hardly anyone in the city seemed to have a clue what Horizons did apart from the fact it showed up as a few hundred dollars on a rate demand."

Another new face around the Horizons table is the sole Ruapehu representative, Bruce Rollinson.

The sheep and beef farmer, and vegetable grower from Ohakune, has unseated Mike Plowman, from Owhango.


Mr Rollinson said he had one focus for the next three years - overseeing the implementation of Horizons' One Plan. Both Horizons and farmers wanted to work with each other - the question was how that might happen.

"It's got to be practical, and it has to be cost effective," he said.

Based on the preliminary count there would be up to five new councillors at Horizons. As well as Mr Pearce, Mr Cotton, and Mr Rollinson, they include Pat Kelly and Rachel Keedwell (Palmerston North constituency).