Hamilton’s Mayor and Councillors began their three-year term as leaders of the city on Thursday with a commitment to unity and service to the community of Hamilton Kirikiriroa.
Mayor, Paula Southgate and 14 councillors were sworn in at a historic welcoming ceremony, which saw Angela O’Leary inducted as Deputy Mayor and two councillors appointed to the new Kirikiriroa Maaori Ward.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be re-elected as the mayor of Hamilton Kirikiriroa, and one that I do not take lightly,” said Mayor Southgate.
“I want to acknowledge and celebrate all elected members here today, and celebrate our two Maaori Ward councillors. I’m grateful to have you all here with us. Together, we have a lot to do – challenges to tackle, and opportunities to embrace.”
Six new councillors were inaugurated – Anna Casey-Cox and Andrew Bydder in the East Ward, Emma Pike and Louise Hutt in the West Ward, Moko Tauariki and Melaina Huaki in the Kirikiriroa Maaori Ward.
They join successfully re-elected councillors, Maxine van Oosten, Mark Donovan, Kesh Naidoo-Rauf, Ewan Wilson, Sarah Thomson and in the newly created Senior Chair role, Ryan Hamilton.
Returning councillor, Geoff Taylor, was absent and will be sworn in at the next Council meeting.
Both councillors sworn in from the Kirikiriroa Maaori Ward were celebrated with powerful haka tautoko from their whaanau and supporters.
Council then reconvened for the inaugural council meeting of the triennium, to finalise the frequency of council meetings and chair appointments to committees.