Mayor's Column for November 2016

Tuesday, 01 November 2016

Thank you for your mandate

WELCOME to this month’s column.

Firstly a big thank you for the support you showed forme personally during the recent election, and the many congratulatory messages I have received since.

I take nothing for granted, it is always a privilege to serve you as your mayor, and I thank you for giving me a strong mandate to continue with the many exciting challenges and opportunities we have in front of us.

Congratulations to new councillor Janene New, who was elected to the Te Kuiti ward. Janene is well known and has many connections in our district. She will be a great addition to our team.

We held our inaugural meeting last week and I spelt out my expectations to fellow councillors for the next three years.

We have many exciting things on our radar in the immediate future, and I have an expectation of all councillors being fully involved, working closely in support of staff to make things happen.


One of my main focuses will be about communication with you, our community, about what is happening within council and our district, as I don’t believe we do this as well as I would like.

One of the pleasures of leading a stable, committed council is that decision-making is mainly by consensus, as we all are committed to the same vision. This unfortunately, is not always the case in politics, so it was great relief to the mayors of the Waikato region to see Alan Livingstone elected as regional council chairman.

Alan has the ability and clear majority to bring an end to some of the petty party politics that has plagued our regional council for many years, and this will be great for the Waikato region as a whole.

I congratulate Alan and Stu Kneebone on their re-election (unopposed) to represent Waipa-King Country once again. They do serve us particularly well.


The morning of the election bought the news of the tragic events at Kinohaku, and this has been a very painful time for our intertwined communities of Otorohanga and Waitomo.

Words can’t explain how this happened, or the pain for all affected, but I feel strongly that the review to come out of this of the mental health sector, needs to offer up some explanation for our communities.

It has been a tough month for our west coast communities, with another fatality with the death of 15-year-old Jossie Wetini as a result of a quad bike accident. Our thoughts are with all affected by these tragic events.


Congratulations to Mark Bentham, formerly of Piopio, for his investiture at Government House earlier this month.

Mark was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for his services to the NZ Fire Service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

As all residents of our wider community will know, Mark made a lifelong contribution to the Piopio district, both in his capacity as former owner of Progress Transport, and to the Piopio Volunteer Fire Brigade. Congratulations Mark on your fantastic community service over many years, an honour well deserved.


It was great to host another Lochore Cup final on a beautifully sunny day in Te Kuiti on Saturday.

To Paul Mitchell and all involved a big thank you for the fantastic spectacle,the grounds looked absolutely magnificent. While the result was not as we had hoped, congratulations to the Rams for making the final again.