Shepherd to chair new-look regional council

25 Oct 2016, 2:12 PM

Bill Shepherd has been elected unopposed to chair a new-look Northland Regional Council for the next three years.

Councillor Shepherd, a second-term councillor who also led the council last term, says he is honoured and humbled to head the new council, whose members were officially sworn into office in Whangarei today.

Fellow second term councillor David Sinclair – one of two members representing the Whangarei Urban constituency – was elected unopposed as Deputy Chair.

Councillor Shepherd says with five new members (including, for the first time since 1998, two women) on the nine-strong council he’s excited about what the next three years will bring.

“David and I are excited to lead a revitalised, keen and enthusiastic council  which is collectively relishing both the opportunities – and challenges –  the next three years will offer.”

“Every councillor brings their own strengths, experiences and skills and one of council’s first tasks will be to finalise our new governance structure; what committees we will have to oversee particular areas of work over the next three years and who will chair them.”

Meanwhile, Cr Shepherd paid tribute to five former colleagues from the previous council; former deputy chair Graeme Ramsey who had not sought re-election and Craig Brown, Joe Carr, Monty Knight and Dover Samuels, whose bids for another term in office were unsuccessful.

All five former councillors had made their own important contributions and worked hard to improve the region which he wished to publicly acknowledge on behalf of ratepayers.