Wednesday, May 29, 2024

New Hastings council sworn in

Hastings District Councillors and Rural Community Board members have been sworn in today with an official welcome at Waipatu Marae.

Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst said it was wonderful to welcome the newly elected, re-elected and returning unopposed councillors and Rural Community Board members, and she offered her warm congratulations to them.

“We are incredibly proud and excited about the coming term and carrying on our hard mahi – it’s an exciting time here in Heretaunga Hastings – our district is rocking,” she said.

“I thank our councillors from past terms who have helped contribute to the momentum we have built up and results we are seeing contributing to our success and our community’s wellbeing.

“This term we also have the addition of our Māori ward councillors and the attributes they bring to help us carry out our vision and aspirations.

“We have some great skills, knowledge, experience and passion around the table and I’m very much looking forward to working with all our elected members to deliver for our whole community,” the Mayor said.

Also today, Mayor Hazlehurst announced that Hastings’ Deputy Mayor would be Tania Kerr, who also held this role last term.

“I’m very proud to appoint Tania who is a very competent and experienced councillor who understands all aspects of council business and local government, has a broad knowledge of the district, and strongly represents our rural and primary sector.”

Council chief executive, Nigel Bickle, congratulated all the councillors on the behalf of council staff.

“We are excited about the next three years to make a difference for our community with its 91,000 residents across 5000 square kilometres of town and country,” he said.

He noted that for the first time in more than a decade there were six new councillors and for the first time in history there was Māori representation through the Takitimu ward councillors.

Mr Bickle also acknowledged the longest serving councillor in Hawke’s Bay, Kevin Watkins, and the combined 91 years of experience among those who were re-elected or returned unopposed.

Following the inaugural full council meeting the Rural Community Board had its first meeting and swearing in.

The new board chair is Maraekākaho subdivision member, Jonathan Stockley, and the deputy chair is Kaweka subdivision member, Isabelle Crawshaw.

The appointed council representatives are Tania Kerr, Marcus Buddo and Ana Apatu.

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