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Pōwhiri To Welcome New And Returning Councillors

Manawatū District Council have welcomed its new council for the 2022 – 2025 triennium, with a pōwhiri held on Tuesday 25 October.

Members of Council’s Te Roopu Waiata group welcomed the newly elected members and their whānau with waiata and karakia, before the official declarations were made.

The pōwhiri was particularly poignant as it celebrated the establishment of the Ngā Tapuae o Matangi Māori Ward, with Bridget Bell becoming their first ward councillor, and only the second Māori councillor to be elected to Manawatū District Council.

“I felt humbled and truly grateful to experience the aroha and support from the marae, whānau, and iwi collective. The unity at the pōwhiri was a unique and extremely significant privilege for MDC and for the community. I believe the opportunities that this ward have gifted the council are immense,” says Bridget.

In a speech made by Mayor Helen Worboys, she said that she was excited by the new council, who provide a wealth experience, passion, and commitment

“This new triennium is a very positive time to be involved in the Manawatū District Council. Along with our Chief Executive and outstanding staff – all of which make up ‘Team MDC’, we’ll continue to lead and contribute to significant progress as our district and region continues to grow in a managed way,” says Mayor Helen.

Mayor Helen then conducted the swearing in of the new council. Alongside Bridget, a further four new councillors have been welcomed to Council. Kerry Quigley and Lara Blackmore (Feilding General Ward), and Fiona Underwood and Colin McFadzean (Manawatū Rural Ward).

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The meeting was adjourned on Tuesday evening and reconvened on Wednesday morning, where it was confirmed that Deputy Mayor Michael Ford would continue in that role following a recommendation from Mayor Worboys.

The following committees and chairpersons were also confirmed:

  • District Development Committee – Chair, Deputy Mayor Michael Ford
  • Audit and Risk Committee – Chair, Councillor Stuart Campbell
  • Hearings Committee – Chair, Councillor Alison Short

The council was also given a report regarding key legislation that is pertinent to their roles and information that they should be aware of to better understand their responsibilities.

The first council meeting for the year will be on Thursday 10 November at 8:30am, which will be open to the public. 

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