Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is made up of nine representatives elected by the community through the local body elections held every three years. Find out who your councillors are.
The last election was on 8 October 2016 and the next election will take place on 12 October 2019. Elected members are responsible for developing or approving all major policies to enable the Council to achieve its vision for a prosperous region, a vibrant community and a clean and healthy environment.
Hawke’s Bay region is divided into 5 constituencies. The rural constituencies of Wairoa and Central Hawke’s Bay are represented by one member each, Napier by three members, Hastings by three members and Ngaruroro by one member. Councillors elect the Chairman at the first Council meeting following a local body election.
Rex Graham is a Company Director involved in horticulture management and investments in New Zealand and China. Rex is chairman of the U-Turn Charitable Trust which supports a range of community initiatives in Flaxmere including the Flaxmere Boxing Academy. He is a Trustee of Te Aranga Marae and Chair of the Regional Sports Park.
Rick was elected to the Regional Council in October 2013 for the Hastings constituency. He was previously a Member of Parliament for 18 years, elected initially as the Member for Hastings in 1993 and served six years as a Minister and also acted as Assistant Speaker to the House. Rick is currently acting on behalf of the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations as a Chief Crown Negotiator for two settlements in Taranaki. Rick completed a Master Degree in Public Policy 2012. He is active in the community including working for the Te Aranga Marae. Rick has three grown children, likes to read and ride his Triumph motorcycle. Rick’s guiding thought for his Regional Council work: wisdom is old men planting trees under whose shade they will never sit.
Alan represents the Napier constituency, having been elected to Council in 2004. He was Mayor of Napier for 12 years until 2001 and formerly served HBRC in its inaugural years from 1989 to 1992. Alan has a Business Degree (MBA) and is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management. He has broad experience in the business and community sectors, including past directorship of the Port of Napier, Radio New Zealand and other significant organisations.
Tom lives with his wife Brooks and daughter Claire on a lifestyle block along the lower Tukituki. His professional expertise is marketing and communications. He is editor and publisher of BayBuzz magazine and he writes an acclaimed blog for professional NGO fundraisers & communicators, chiefly in North America and Europe, called The Agitator.net. In his former life, Tom worked chiefly in Washington DC in politics and public advocacy. He served in the Carter White house, built Ted Turner’s first philanthropic organisation, and has consulted for numerous major corporations and nonprofits regarding their marketing and public affairs strategies. He holds a Master’s degree in political philosophy from Georgetown University.
Fenton has represented the Wairoa constituency since 2009. Born in Waipukurau and educated in Frasertown, Wairoa and Hastings, Fenton has worked most of his life in the Wairoa district. He farms a 235ha sheep and beef property with his wife Sue and is Chairman of the Wairoa Community Development Trust. He is also a director for HB tourism, OSPRI NZ ltd and a trustee for Predator free NZ.
Waipukurau based, Debbie represents the Central Hawke’s Bay constituency. Alongside running a primary sector focused family business, her experience includes significant stakeholder engagement expertise and professional chairman roles and directorships with companies in the primary production, civil engineering and infrastructure sectors. Debbie’s previous governance roles have included three terms as a grower elected director of Horticulture New Zealand; chair of the Horticulture Industry Vision 10/2020 Taskforce; chair of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Stakeholder group. Debbie has a Masters degree in Agribusiness Management.
Peter Beaven is a second term Councillor. He lives in Hastings and was previously an orchardist in Twyford. He has worked in various roles in Horticulture including Chief Executive of Pipfruit New Zealand and President of World Apple and Pears Association. He was raised and educated in Hawke’s Bay and has a degree in Law from Victoria University. He is currently a Board Member of Pipfruit NZ.
My principal place of residence is in the Napier Constituency area. Neil Kirton has proven political experience. As a member of parliament Neil served as the Minister of Customs and Associate Minister of Health. He was responsible for introducing free healthcare for children under six. Neil has a post-graduate science degree and a passion for habitat protection. He sees protecting our coastal marine environment and restoration of the Ahuriri Estuary as vital to preserving endangered bird and fish species. Put More Fish in the Bay? Yes We Can! A justice of the peace, Neil is involved in the Napier community. He has previously served on the regional council, successfully advocating for a Regional Biodiversity Strategy and the interests of Napier leaseholders.
I will work to ensure that current resource consents are enforced, and any new water bottling consents are subject to full Council scrutiny. Expensive dams are not a sustainable solution; they encourage production of low value commodities, risk large rates rises, and put ownership of our port at risk. There are viable alternatives; we just need fresh thinking and courage to implement them. I believe that genuine public consultation and open, transparent decision making is the way forward. I'm a committed father of four who has been a business owner, bank manager and credit manager.
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