Geoff Crawford has been elected Northland Regional Council’s new chair, with former Chair, Tui Shortland, to become his deputy after her resignation from the leadership role.
Chair Crawford (pictured with Councillor Shortland) has a background in farming and has been on council since local body elections in October last year.
Councillors also voted today to remove Deputy Chair, Jack Craw, from his role, with Councillor Shortland stepping into the vacant position. Councillor Craw will remain as the elected representative for Whangārei Central General constituency, the Council said in a statement.
The change in Chair and Deputy Chair were among a number of portfolio switches across the Council’s nine-strong governance structure today.
Chair Crawford said today’s changes – most of which passed by a margin of five votes to four – were part of the democratic process and he will work with staff to support councillors as they collectively transition into new leadership.
“I acknowledge leadership changes can be an unsettling time for our council as a whole,” Chair Crawford says.
“I’ll be working hard to ensure our organisation’s work, partnerships and commitments run as smoothly as possible – from both governance and operational perspectives – as we go through this process.”
Councillor Shortland says she was proud to have served as the first indigenous wahine Chair of the NRC and her dedication to the community, ongoing projects, and plans for the future remained steadfast.
She says that while her recent time on council had been challenging, today’s changes were “an integral part of our growth and commitment to effective governance”.
Today’s meeting also saw the creation of a new Infrastructure Standing Committee whose membership has yet to be decided.
Other changes from today’s Council meeting included:
- Councillor Shortland (who remains an elected councillor for Te Raki Māori constituency) replacing Cr Robinson (who represents the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa General constituency) as Co-Chair of Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party
- Councillor Blackwell (who represents the Kaipara General constituency) replacing Cr Macdonald (who represents the Coastal Central General constituency) as NRC’s representative on the Joint Climate Change Adaptation Committee
- Chair Crawford replacing Cr Craw as NRC’s alternate representative on the Climate Change Adaptation Committee
- Chair Crawford replacing Cr Stolwerk (who represents the Coastal South General constituency) as the NRC representative on the Northland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group
- Councillor Shortland replacing Cr Craw as NRC’s alternate representative on the Northland Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group
- Chair Crawford replacing Cr Robinson as the NRC representative on the Joint Regional Economic Development Committee
- Councillor Carr (who represents the Far North General constituency) replacing Cr Craw as a member of the Biosecurity and Biodiversity Working Party
- Councillor Shortland replacing Cr Macdonald as Chair on the Natural Resources Working Party
- Councillor Blackwell replacing Cr Robinson as a member of the Natural Resources Working Party.
Councillors also voted to review the current councillor remuneration package with a view to agreeing on an improved remuneration structure and package at the 27 February 2024 council meeting.