Two of the leading figures at Horizons Regional Council are being challenged for their seats this year.

The council has two seats for Rangitīkei-Manawatū, and incumbents Bruce Gordon and Gordon McKellar are both standing again. Gordon has been the council's chairman since 2011, and McKellar is the most recent chairman of its environment committee.

Both would like to see Horizons through a "tricky period" as it applies to change its controversial One Plan rules about the amount of nitrogen owners can allow to leach from their properties.

Gordon owns an agricultural contracting business and hopes the next lot of fellow councillors will vote him into the chairman role again.


McKellar is a sheep and beef farmer, who is proud of what stream planting and fencing has achieved for water quality during his time as environment committee chairman - but said more work is needed.

The four others vying for the two seats are a varied lot. Feilding man Leslie Pillow is a retired journalist and publisher who has been a keen angler. He's also standing for MidCentral District Health Board.

John Turkington is the owner of a large forestry and land management company. He has been a soil conservator and said he wants a balance between development and care for the environment.

Soraya Peke-Mason has been a Rangitīkei District councillor for 12 years. She is completing a degree in business administration and has taken a lead role in preparing her tribe, Ngāti Rangi, for a post-settlement future.

Finally there's Teresa Schulz, a civil servant who has had a life-long interest in farming and science and is just completing a degree in environmental science. Her top concern is ensuring children can still swim in the region's waterways.