Horizons Regional Councillor for Whanganui steps down

Horizons Regional Councillor for Whanganui, Nicola Patrick, has stepped down from her governance role to pursue a career with central government in Wellington.

Cr Patrick has served for almost two full terms as a Councillor, having first being elected for the Horizons’ Whanganui Constituency in the 2016 local body elections. On 4 June her resignation from her regional council governance role became effective, allowing her move to the Capital.
At their Regional Council meeting this morning, Horizons Chair Rachel Keedwell acknowledged Cr Patrick’s contribution to local government, which has included the adoption of Horizons’ 2022-23 Annual Plan that was part of today’s agenda items. 
“I will miss Nicola’s enthusiasm, skillset and valuable contributions to Council decisions,” says Cr Keedwell.
“During her almost six years at the governance table, Cr Patrick has been a member of Council’s Kanorau Koiora Taketake - Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grant’s decision panel, and steering groups for two of Horizons’ Jobs for Nature projects - Fencing and Riparian Planting and Enhancing Fish Populations through Fish Passage Remediation.
“In 2019, she was elected by her peers as Chair of Environment Committee, a position she held until her recent departure. 
“She has also spent time as part of Te Kōpuka nā Te Awa Tupua, who are charged with advancing the environmental, social, cultural and economic health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua through the development of a Whanganui River management strategy.
“Nicola has been a strong and vocal advocate for both the environment and all of our communities, not just Whanganui. She always contributed to discussions and left us in no doubt about where she stood on issues. 
“She contributed fully to Council life despite having to juggle the demands of being a single mother alongside all of her other work commitments.
“On a personal level, I will miss her immensely. For me she was a valuable ally and we spent a lot of time strategising together about how to get maximum benefits for environmental sustainability across all areas of business. The council table is definitely a quieter place without her passionate arguments and sense of humour!
“We all wish her well for her next career move.”
Cr Patrick’s departure is five months prior to the next local body elections, which meant Councillors were not able to request a by-election. They did have the option to make a direct appointment of a suitable, qualified person to replace Cr Patrick, however, they chose not to fill the vacancy, and Chair Keedwell will attend to any matters or issues arising from the Whanganui constituency until the elections on 8 October.

Cr Wiremu Te Awe Awe will act as Horizons’ Environment Committee Chair for the same period, while the position of Deputy Environment Committee Chair has gone to Cr Fiona Gordon.
Nominations for those wishing to stand for any of Horizons constituencies, which include two new Māori constituencies, open on 15 July 2022. More information can be found in the About section of the website.