Soapbox 4: Noel Smith, Waikato Regional Council Candidate

In the interests of offering extra information to residents we have also offered candidates for the Waikato Regional Council the chance to participate in our Soapbox posts – in the order they are received Matangilink will publish articles submitted to us from candidates for election to Waikato District Council or the Waikato Regional Council. The Waikato Regional Council Candidate page is here: https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/council/elections/candidate-details/

Noel Smith – Waikato

The Regional Council needs experience, leadership and councillors who already know their way around local government. That’s why I’m asking for your vote.

I bring 15 years’ experience as a Waikato District Councillor and a sound understanding of the region’s challenges and the experience to meet them head on.

Aspirations of our communities have been a priority for me, and as a District Councillor I have led the Blueprint process with Aksel Bech, mayoral candidate, the District Plan appeals committee Chair, Alcohol Licensing Committee Chair and Regulatory Committee Chair. I was formerly the roading chair prior to the forming of the Infrastructure committee. I also led the recent negotiations between Federated Farmers and Council that has led to the adoption of the Stock Movement Bylaw 2022. I have extensive knowledge of the District and its issues.

I’ve been on Regional Council committees including Drainage and Rivers, Public Transport and Regional Civil Defence. As a land owner representative for nearly 30 years I Chaired the Regional Council Central Waikato Drainage committee that ran from just north of Te Awamutu through to Tauhei and TeHoe in the north. In that role I have worked closely with Graham Membry and his local team on the Matangi Drainage Committee. I also sat on the Waipa and Central Waikato River committees before they were disestablished by the Regional Council in 2019. I have gained an extensive understanding of the District and the Region and served as an RMA Commissioner on several joint hearing panels for the District and the Regional Council.

On three waters I support reform, such as that already undertaken with the contract between the District and Watercare however I do not support the current Government proposals!

I’m currently President of the Waikato JP Association, with extensive experience in governance and management. My background includes 14 years in the NZ Police then 17 years with the Ministry of Justice as District Manager for the greater Waikato region. I have also farmed beef cattle at Te Kowhai, near Ngaruawahia, since 1981. I have been a director on two privately owned meat industry companies.

With all the change coming at Local Government you need someone that is across the issues, that has an in-depth knowledge of the District and who is able to hit the ground running.

In response to questions at previous meetings can I just say this on PC1. PC1 has cost the ratepayers $31 million dollars. The Government has come over the top of PC1 with the national freshwater standards. It is time to get out of Court and sit down with those that have appealed PC1 and negotiate. There is no point in wasting more money fighting over PC1 to then have to change it to the new Government standards. It will be better to negotiate to the end game.

My name is Noel Smith and I ask you for your vote. Thank you.

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