Environment Waikato has made some changes to its line-up at its first meeting.
Chairman Neil Clarke retained his position without a challenger, but the deputy’s role was won by Central Waikato councillor Jenni Vernon after a three-way challenge. Former deputy David Peart and Cr Evan Penny both challenged for the position.
Cr Clarke said he would encourage councillors to express their individual points of view, but hoped that all would stand firm on the ultimate decisions of the whole Council. There were challenges ahead over the next three years and there was quite a bit of unfinished business.
Councillors would also be working in a new environment as a result of the review of the Local Government Act.
“This will give us more powers and responsibilities, whether we like it or not. It’s also likely to cause some friction with territorials and the city, which has got to be managed carefully.”
The Council has four new members – Paula Southgate and Angus McDonald representing Hamilton, Barry O’Connor representing Waipa and Laurie Burdett representing Taupo. Crs Southgate and Burdett elected not to stand for chairs.
Some Committee Chairs also retained their positions, with Jim Howland as Chair of Regulatory, Helen Lane as Chair of Biosecurity, and Evan Penny returning to Policy. Other Chairs elected were new Councillor Barry O’Connor for Corporate Services, Lois Livingston for the Environment Committee, Andra Neeley for Operations, and David Peart for Transport.
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