Mayor-elect plans collaborative approach

Kaipara mayor-elect, Jason Smith

Kaipara mayor-elect, Dr Jason Smith, plans to ‘hit the ground running’ after he is sworn in on Friday, by attending a Northland mayoral forum with his counterparts in Whangarei and the Far North. 

Dr Jason Smith topped the by-election poll last Saturday with 3,021 votes cast by just over 42 per cent of the electorate, or 6,727 voters.

With only 60 special votes to be scrutinised, the election result stands.

“I am looking forward to this meeting with the other mayors and chair of the regional council,” Jason said after his election win.

“I already know these people and Kaipara can do a lot in partnership and many of our regional stories are shared stories. It’s about being included in Northland and I am very much a team player, and I look forward to working in collaboration with the other councils.

‘Fresh Start’ was a theme for my campaign, and the Kaipara voters have picked up on that. So, that fresh start is what I’m looking to bring to Kaipara’s relations with other partner councils in Northland and with central government too. I’ll also be looking to bring some of that will-of-the-people freshness into the Long Term Plan which is on the immediate council agenda.”

A beef and sheep farmer, Jason has his Greenhill Stud at Ruawai.

“I have a manager, and I will be a full-time mayor for all that the job dictates.

I shall be present at events as part of the community, not necessarily as mayor but as a ratepayer too, to hear the people of the community and gather clear messages from the people of the Kaipara.

“We can send that message to Auckland and Wellington as needed.”

From 2002 to 2005, he was CEO of the Kaipara Development Agency and as mayor he plans to continue to attract industrial, commercial and residential development to the district under an umbrella of managed growth, as well as increase tourism activity.

After the development agency, he gained his PhD in economic development public policy.

“In 2012, I returned to the farm, winning two Ballance Farm Environment Awards.”

He ran an ecotourism business on a forest reserve he owns on the farm, with a focus ‘on kauri forest, bushmen and billy tea’.

Helped by his long-time partner Diane, outside of politics, he farms his 75-year-old Hereford stud, with another main interest in restoring his homestead of Devon Grove, built by his great-great grandfather in 1873.

“I bought it from a distant cousin when it came up for sale,” he said. “It has been a 25 year work in progress — so I have been a Kaipara ratepayer for a quarter of a century.”

Candidate Affiliation No Status Quota Vote Count Keep Value Iteration
SMITH, Jason   184 elected 2,852 3,021 1 7
WETHEY, Peter Independent 187 excluded 2,852 2,683 0 7
ROGAN, Bruce   182 excluded 3,108 1,419 0 6
MCEWING, Brian   181 excluded 3,206 821 0 5
SOOLE, Stephen Independent 185 excluded 3,288 622 0 4
WOOLLAM, Craig   188 excluded 3,334 426 0 3
TANE, Jay Ben   186 excluded 3,352 211 0 2
SIMON, Christian   183 excluded 3,364 173 0 1

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