Sir Hamish Hay
ECan Chair comment on death of Sir Hamish Hay, former regional councillor and Mayor of Christchurch:
Sir Hamish Hay
“Hamish Hay was a distinguished Cantabrian whose passing represents a great loss to our community.
“Although best known for his 30 years as a Christchurch City Councillor, including 15 years as Mayor, Hamish also served as a fine Regional Councillor for Christchurch North for six years from 1995 - 2001.
“He was Chair of ECan’s Finance and Corporate Policy Committee between 1995 - 98 and Deputy Chair of the Council for a term prior to his final retirement from public life in October 2001.
“Hamish had a great eye for detail, often spotting inconsistencies in reports that had escaped both staff and other colleagues. But he also had the experience that enabled him to get the big picture, understanding the need for pragmatism in policy formation, that reasonableness was superior to even fine theories.
“He was firmly on the side of those of us who opposed the banning of solid fuel appliances in Christchurch during the great “air debates” at ECan in 2000 - 01. This finally became the Council’s position at the end of 2001.
“Hamish had his own strong political views but was able to reach out to those with other opinions to seek consensus solutions. He was a good bloke who both loved and served with great distinction his city and region. It was a privilege to know him and to work with him.
“He had high standing in the Maori community and, when ECan had neither a Maori councillor nor a Maori Advisory Committee, Hamish always asked the questions and raised the issues on their behalf.
“All of us at Environment Canterbury extend our condolences to Hamish’s family. They can take enormous pride in his public life, unprecedented in Canterbury, even at this time of great loss. I have asked that the flag at Environment Canterbury’s Kilmore Street headquarters be lowered to half-mast as a mark of our respect for the late Sir Hamish Hay and in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Canterbury region.”
Hon. Sir Kerry Burke
Environment Canterbury September 8 2008