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Regional Transport Committee interim chair appointed



thumbnail cr-rick-stolwerk-20201020-500-813Northland Regional Council (NRC) member Rick Stolwerk has been appointed interim chair of the Northland Regional Transport Committee.

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 by-election 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.

Given that, NRC chair Penny Smart says a number of interim appointments had been made on November 17 to cover the former councillor’s various portfolios and positions.

She 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 councillor 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 – Whangarei Public Transport Working Party
  • Councillor Blaikie as the third council member of Whangarei 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 Kaihu 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 will be reviewed after the swearing in of the new Whangarei Urban Constituency councillor.

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


Councillor Rick Stolwerk is now interim chair of the Northland Regional Transport Committee after the recent resignation of former council colleague John Bain. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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