New council hits ground running

Our new councillors have hit the ground running, setting up new committee structures, heading out into the community for various events, and sorting out how the new-look council can best work together for a thriving Northland.

Second-term Kaipara councillor Penny Smart heads our nine-member council as the newly-elected chair, with Hokianga-Kaikohe representative Justin Blaikie – also a second-term councillor – elected as deputy chair.

The October elections introduced four fresh faces to our nine-member council – Amy Macdonald (Coastal Central), Marty Robinson (Coastal North) Colin Kitchen (Te Hiku) and Jack Craw (Whangārei Urban).

Members of our council have been out and about at various events in the community over the past few weeks, including the Westpac Northland Business Excellence Awards which our council sponsors, the Bay of Islands Pastoral & Industrial Show at Waipapa, and Enviroschools Expos and Bronze celebrations.

They’ve also been getting up to speed with the many different parts of our council business, including a visit to our economic development agency Northland Inc.

Meanwhile, one of the council’s first big jobs behind the scenes has been to sort out what committees, subcommittees, working parties and other groups they’ll have over the three years they’re in office.

The new make-up reflects the mix of fresh and experienced faces, as well as a chance to collectively address some existing and emerging issues over the next three years.

A new Climate Change Working Party and increased Māori and independent representation are among key changes to our structure.

The new Climate Change Working Party (chaired by new councillor Amy Macdonald) will oversee our council’s climate change activities and make recommendations on climate change matters.

Our councillors have also moved to give Māori a greater voice and will now also include equal numbers of councillors and Māori members (from the standalone Te Taitokerau Māori and Council Working Party) on council’s various working parties.

You can read more about the committee structure at:

NRC Councillors.

Your councillors, from left, Marty Robinson, John Bain, Justin Blaikie (Deputy Chair), Penny Smart (Chair), Jack Craw, Joce Yeoman, Rick Stolwerk, Colin (Toss) Kitchen and Amy Macdonald.