Penny Smart to chair new regional council
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 last Tuesday.
Hokianga-Kaikohe constituency representative Justin Blaikie – another second term councillor who was also re-elected unopposed in August – was also 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 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 October 29 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; Whangarei Urban constituency (two representatives) John Bain, Jack Craw.
New Northland Regional Council chair Penny Smart takes her oath of office in Whangarei last week.