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Waikato district deputy mayor says farewell

08 October 2019

Dynes Fulton has never wanted to make claims about his achievements, but 15 years’ service to the Waikato district certainly deserves some recognition.

Dynes believes the time is right for him to step aside, both as deputy mayor and as Councillor of the Hukanui-Waerenga Ward for Waikato District Council. He is not seeking re-election this coming term.

Dynes hopes he’s made a positive contribution on Council and he’s grateful to have had the opportunity. “It’s been a huge privilege to have served on Council and has been very rewarding.”

He was first elected in 2004 as Councillor for what was then known as the Rangiriri ward. This then became the Hapuakohe Ward in 2007, before becoming what is currently known as the Hukanui-Waerenga Ward in 2010.

He is especially proud of the leadership roles he’s taken on at Council.

Dynes is chair of the current Infrastructure Committee, which oversees the work programme for areas such as roading, solid waste and public spaces. He is also currently involved in FutureProof, the Waikato Regional Transport Committee and the coordination of the Hamilton to Auckland rail start up service. In the past Dynes has been chair of Policy and Regulatory and has also been involved in cross-boundary relationship networking with neighbouring councils.

Dynes believes good councils need to work as a team and he believes Waikato District Council is a good council that doesn’t necessarily get the recognition it deserves. “Local government is big business and the district has seen a lot of change and growth in the 15 years I’ve been on Council.”

Reflecting back on what the district was like when he first came on Council 15 years ago, Dynes says the district has shifted from being a largely rural council to now dealing with growth patterns and issues similar to that of a city. This rural urban mix produces its challenges, but it’s one that Council is facing head-on. “Our focus has certainly shifted and is perhaps helped by not having just rural people on Council.

“I certainly believe that Waikato District Council has a strong leadership team with positive Councillors and we’ve been able to adapt to the growth surge and the demands that we’ve seen in recent years.

“The function of Council has also changed considerably. Rather than delivering services like roads and water, which are both now run by our partners Waikato Alliance and Watercare, we have moved more into the space of caring for our residents alongside Council’s vision of liveable, thriving and connected communities. Our focus has shifted from largely focusing on infrastructure to placing more of a focus on looking after our people which is where it needs to be.”

Another of the challenges over the years has certainly been the amalgamation of the Franklin district into the Waikato district, Dynes says. The current district plan review should help to amalgamate the two areas into one united district, he believes.

People who have made the greatest contribution to council are those who have come on with a background in business and good governance, Dynes says. “I’m leaving council in a very good space.”

But Dynes isn’t stepping aside to spend more time with family, as is the usual line when “retiring”.

He hasn’t finished with giving back just yet. He will continue with his role as an independent commissioner for the Waikato District Plan Review, which has just started hearing the submissions for Stage 1. “I expect I’ll be busy with this work for the next couple of years, so that will certainly keep me busy and involved to some extent.”

Dynes wants to thank his family for their support over the years, especially wife Coralie, who has put up with lost family time and “work home from the office” – he’s often reading agendas and taking phone calls.


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