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Published: 2013-10-31 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council today elected fifth-term councillor Paula Southgate as the new chair, with new councillor Tipa Mahuta as deputy.

Councillors voted for chair and deputy chair after being sworn in at the first meeting of the new three-year term. 

Chair, deputy and councillors

Top: Paula Southgate (left) and Tipa Mahuta.

Bottom - back row (L-R): Stu Kneebone, Stuart Husband, Bob Simcock,
Timoti Bramley, Hugh Vercoe, Clyde Graf,
Peter Buckley.

Bottom - front row (L-R): Tipa Mahuta, Kathy White, Paula Southgate,
Theresa Stark, Alan Livingston, Jane Hennebry,
Lois Livingston.

Cr Southgate won the chair eight votes to five, ahead of the other nominee Bob Simcock. Councillor Southgate did not cast a vote. 

In accepting the role, she said her election as chair had come as a surprise. 

She acknowledged the experience around the council table, noting the number of councillors who could competently chair the council. 

“I look forward to working with you all for the benefit of our region’s communities and I hope we can all support each other going forward.” 

Following the election of the council chair and deputy, new councillor Hugh Vercoe was elected to the compulsory Waikato Civil Defence Emergency Management Group’s Joint Committee which next meets on Monday, 18 November.

Councillors then resolved to defer committee chair and deputy chair appointments until next month to allow more time for consideration of the committee structure and skills and interests of councillors. 

The council next meets on Thursday, 28 November.