Penny Smart to chair new regional council

29 Oct 2019, 2:40 PM

Kaipara-based councillor Penny Smart has been elected to chair the newly-elected Northland Regional Council for the next three years.

Councillor Smart, a second-term councillor says she’s honoured to head the new council, whose members were officially sworn into office in Whangarei Tuesday, 29 October.

Hokianga-Kaikohe constituency representative Justin Blaikie – another second term councillor who was also re-elected unopposed in August – was today elected as the council’s Deputy Chair.

Unlike district councils, whose mayors are chosen by the public through local elections, the regional council’s equivalent – its chair – is voted in by their fellow councillors.

The newly-elected council has four new members; Jack Craw (Whangarei Urban), Amy Macdonald (Coastal Central), Marty Robinson (Coastal North) and Colin ‘Toss’ Kitchen* (Te Hiku). *(Councillor Kitchen is currently overseas and has yet to be officially sworn in).

Councillor Smart was re-elected to council unopposed when nominations for would-be councillors closed in August. With this month’s local body elections also delivering Cr Joce Yeoman (Coastal North) a second term and Cr Macdonald’s election, the council now has three serving women councillors for the first time.

The full Northland Regional Council as of today (Tues 29 October) is:

  • Kaipara constituency; Penny Smart, (Council Chair)
  • Hokianga-Kaikohe constituency; Justin Blaikie (Deputy Chair)
  • Coastal Central constituency; Amy Macdonald
  • Coastal North constituency (two representatives); Marty Robinson, Jocelyn Yeoman
  • Coastal South constituency; Rick Stolwerk
  • Te Hiku constituency; Colin ‘Toss’ Kitchen* *(still to take oath of office)
  • Whangarei Urban constituency (two representatives); John Bain, Jack Craw.
Penny Smart takes her oath of office.

Honoured…new Northland Regional Council Chair Penny Smart takes her oath of office in Whangarei today.