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Rick Barker - new Chair of Hawke's Bay Regional Council

Rick Barker 2021

Councillor Rick Barker was today elected to the position of chair at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

“I came to the Regional Council to bring about positive reforms in the economy and environment of Hawke’s Bay, and I’ll continue to give my strong commitment to the role of chair”, says chair Rick Barker.

Regional Council chief executive James Palmer spoke on behalf of staff and echoed the positive reaction to councillor Barker’s appointment.

“Councillor Barker has deep experience in representing residents and ratepayers of Hawke’s Bay, both locally and nationally, and is therefore well qualified to lead our Council,” says Mr Palmer.

“While sorry to see former chair Rex Graham step down, we welcome councillor Barker’s chairmanship, which comes at a time of active government policy change and reform,” adds Mr Palmer.

The position of deputy chair was also appointed during the Council meeting, to Central Hawke’s Bay councillor Will Foley, who was elected to the Regional Council in 2019.

Councillor Barker was first elected to the Regional Council in 2013, representing the Hastings constituency. He has held the position of Deputy Chair since 2016.



Rex Graham’s resignation has triggered a Regional Council by-election for the Hastings seat he vacated. The Regional Council’s by-election process is calling for nominations until 15 July. If required, a postal vote will take place between 19 August and 10 September 2021.

30 June 2021

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