Russ Rimmington elected chair of Waikato Regional Council
Russ Rimmington has today been elected chair of Waikato Regional Council.
The number in contention for the chair’s job was reduced from three to two when Tipa Mahuta withdrew her nomination during the triennial meeting, saying she was “the right person but two terms too early”.
That left Cr Rimmington (Hamilton constituency) and new Waipā-King Country councillor Andrew MacPherson vying for the top job.
Cr Rimmington’s election came by a 10 to 4 majority at the first meeting of the 2019-2022 council term following the October local government elections.
Before the vote was taken, Cr Rimmington described the Waikato as the golden triangle of New Zealand and explained his desire to see the Waikato become the envy of the country.
“People have spoken in the Waikato in this last election, it's no longer about rates it’s about wellbeing and the environment.
“I have a proven track record in getting things done. I’m a proven community leader and my objective over the next three years is to be consultative,” he said.
After being sworn in as chair, Cr Rimmington thanked councillors for putting their hands up to serve the community.
Focus then turned to electing a deputy chair, with three contenders for the job – third term councillor Stu Husband, second term councillor Kataraina Hodge and Cr MacPherson – with a majority of 8 votes required to take the job.
Cr Husband received 6 votes, with Crs Hodge and MacPherson tied at 4 each. The deadlock was broken with Cr Hodge’s name being drawn from a hat, moving to a vote off between Crs Hodge and Husband.
Cr Hodge was elected, with a majority of 8 to 6 votes.