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Rick Stolwerk interim chair of Regional Transport Committee

17 Nov 2020, 1:15 PM

Northland Regional Council (NRC) member Rick Stolwerk has been appointed interim chair of the Northland Regional Transport Committee.

Councillor Stolwerk, a second-term councillor who represents the NRC’s sprawling Whangarei South constituency, temporarily replaces former long-time committee chair John Bain, who resigned from regional council recently.

The former councillor also held a number of other governance roles and while a byelection process for his vacant Whangarei Urban constituency seats is underway, it will be late February or early March next year before a new councillor is sworn in.

Councillor Rick Stolwerk.Councillor Rick Stolwerk…interim chair of the Northland Regional Transport Committee after the recent resignation of former council colleague John Bain.

Council Chair Penny Smart says given that, a number of interim appointments had been made today, Tuesday 17 November to cover the former councillor’s various portfolios and positions.

She also expressed once again councillors’ collective appreciation – both personally and on behalf of the wider community – for John Bain’s many years of public service on the NRC.

“John brought considerable experience to the council table – both as a local body representative of many years, but also as someone with a long history of strong public service generally.”

Chair Smart says she appreciates the willingness of her colleagues to assume the extra collective responsibilities the resignation had created.

“I’d especially like to acknowledge Cr Stolwerk (already a Regional Transport Committee member) who has now assumed one of the most critical vacant roles as its Chair, as well as joining the Audit and Risk Subcommittee.”

Council’s Deputy Chair Justin Blaikie has also assumed several new roles, including as second council representative on the transport committee.

Other interim roles filled include:

  • Councillor Stolwerk as Chair of the Whangarei District Council/Northland Regional Council – Whangārei Public Transport Working Party
  • Councillor Blaikie as the third council member of Whangārei Public Transport Working Party
  • Councillor Blaikie has also been appointed Chair of the Regional Economic Development Service Delivery Working Party
  • Councillor Smart as Chair of the Kaihū River Working Group
  • Councillor Jack Craw also becomes a full member of the Investment and Property Subcommittee.

Chair Smart says all the temporary appointments made today will be reviewed after the swearing in of the new Whangārei Urban Constituency councillor.

“This will ensure the collective skillsets of the new council in place after the byelection are utilised as sensibly and efficiently as possible.”