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Wairoa Council Candidates

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

We asked the Councillor Candidates these questions

  1. What do you see as the biggest environmental issues facing the district or region you are standing for ? 

  2. How would you want your district/ region to respond to these issues ?

  3. How will you practically and collaboratively support climate action in the district/ region? 

  4. What are your priorities for transport and how would you go about achieving them?

  5. Thinking about council, local business and household activities and their supply chain, food waste collection schemes, solid waste collection and disposal, building, and e-waste, what are your priorities for waste and how would you go about achieving them?

  6. What are your priorities for energy efficiency ? 

  7. Thinking about high density development, development in existing suburban centres, on greenfields sites, and protecting and creating existing green space, waterways and forest, what are your priorities for urban development and how would you go about achieving them?

  8. Have you undertaken training in local government, governance, and/or financial management in the last three years? Would you commit to doing so in the first six months if not?

The following Candidates responded:

Murray Wilson

  1. Wairoa is already suffering from extreme weather events, made worse by the amount of energy in the atmosphere. The main threats are storms and drought. Sea level rise is not expected to be important over this time frame. The amount of pine forest being planted brings all the issues associated with monoculture. Increases in sea temperature will have effects on the marine environment.

  2. Over the next 8 years, actions taken in Wairoa will have little effect on global warming. We will be able to mitigate the effects to some extent, with strategic planning for droughts and floods.

  3. My council will collaborate closely with Hawkes Bay Regional Council and central government on any initiatives. We will strive to increase the amount of logs taken out of the district by rail. We will attract essential services back to town so that people do not have to make expensive trips to other centres. We will establish collective transport options for the outlying centres. We will perform an energy audit of council facilities and services.

  4. My priority is to decrease the need for out of town travel, especially for dental and other medical services. We will encourage walking and cycling in town.

  5. My priority is to produce as little waste as possible. At present, there are some schemes in town for pig food collection. We would encourage the expansion of these. We will investigate the building of a compost plant to use green waste and some AFFCO by-products. We will investigate emerging schemes for the innovative disposal of waste and possible energy generation.

  6. We will perform an energy efficiency audit of all council buildings and encourage the building of energy efficient houses. 

  7. This is not yet a concern for Wairoa, but will be kept in mind. My council will be undertaking housing initiatives within urban boundaries and otherwise without encroaching on agricultural land. The priority is for affordable and energy efficient housing.

  8. I have no formal training in these areas, although working as a research physicist for 25 years has taught me a variety of skills. I will undertake training if I think it would be beneficial to the people of Wairoa. 


  Denise Eaglesome-Karekare


  1. The impacts of climate change on our natural environment and our way of living, while not unique to Wairoa, remains the biggest environmental issue facing our district and country. In addition, the health of waterways and land use changes are also major concerns that need addressing in our community.

  2.  Wairoa needs to play its part in reducing emissions and finding practical ways of contributing to achieving a carbon-neutral Aotearoa. Adopting clean energy such as solar and electric vehicles, encouraging waste minimisation, growing our walkway and cycleway network and ensuring we place shape sustainably through our planning instruments are all vital tools for achieving this. Ensuring that we work with all stakeholders in terms of planning for healthy waterways and sustainable land use are also key drivers for success.

  3.  I will have a determined focus on reducing emissions, ensuring Council not only walks the talk but creates an environment for our community to work and live more sustainably. Councils have opportunities to develop strategic initiatives and practical tools to support positive transitions e.g., resource management planning in terms of adaptation and mitigation. The likelihood is that an integrated mix of regulatory and non-regulatory responses will be needed. Building community understanding and preparedness, developing practical processes and tools to help Wairoa adapt, and strengthening resilience against adverse impacts will be key to our success. Working collaboratively with regions and iwi to develop a plan to strengthen our infrastructure and workforce would be, in my opinion, the first practical steps.

  4. My priorities are to see more walking and cycling, including initiatives to increase the use of e-bikes, encouraging our people to get out and walk and cycle for their own wellbeing. Improving the reach, frequency and quality of public transport (with regional council and other stakeholders) and making it more affordable for low-income New Zealanders. As well as working with central government to maintain and upgrade our roading network.

  5.  Implementing the 5R's waste management hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycling, Recovery, Residual Management) to ensure that we take the smallest amount possible to the landfill. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to lessen the quantity of waste being thrown away. Promoting cleaner production, waste reduction in the community e.g., take your own bags to the supermarket, this saves collecting bags that you don't really want, buy products with less packaging or recyclable packaging. Continuing to build our capacity and capability in terms of recycling services and implementing Council’s Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.

  6.  Continue to support the transition to a low carbon economy, play our part to address strategic challenges in the energy sector, and signal pathways away from fossil fuels e.g., support at a local level the infrastructure required to support the transition to electric vehicles. Additionally, if we could find an affordable and environmentally friendly solution to use waste to produce energy that would be a good start. There are lots of examples out there but for rural communities like Wairoa set up costs are a key barrier.

  7.  Place-based solutions - planning and development approaches based on specific physical locations and their geographical and spatial relation to other areas, which recognise the unique characteristics of each area being considered. Every development should produce a plan that shows how it’s taken account of green space, waterways and forest. There is growing recognition that place-based initiatives can deliver more effective, integrated development in key locations such as Wairoa.

  8.  I have been a councillor for the last 6 terms and have undertaken considerable governance and financial management training over this period.


  Wayne Taylor

    “Get stuffed”.



  Waipatu Winitana

  1. 3 waters.

  2. From the people, not the government.

  3. Educate people to take responsibility for what is in their control.

  4. Reinstate the rail from Gisborne to Wairoa. Seal state Highway 38 and the parts of road that have been zoned special purpose roads.

  5. Establish a methane plant and vault all waste until a plant is operational.

  6. Methane gas plant.

  7. Maintain what we have and add to Te Urewera Forest as one of the largest rainforests in NZ. Continue river bank planting and planting native wherever reserves and parks exist or have the potential to be created.

  8. I have successfully run and owned my own business for 12 years and have experience as a trustee on many trusts for 30 plus years, which helps me to understand governance but a commitment to training in local governance would be helpful.


  Simon Mutonhori

  1. Climate change with a number of costal properties threatened by coastal erosion. The same extreme weather events threatens to cut of the district from the outside through landslides and damage to bridges which is a lifeline for many remote communities.The cost of roads repair is too great for such a small sparsely and impoverished populated community

  2. Genuine engagement on local government reform particularly on local government reforms because the current funding model which relies on rates is not sustainable.

  3. That is the only way to mitigate potential disruption to our lives going forward, its going to get worse if we do nothing about it.

  4. I would prefer rail transport between Wairoa, Napier and Gisborne. It was there before and there is no reason we cant revive this efficient mode of transport. We expect government to pay using our taxto keep the regions alive as we provide raw material for industry in towns.

  5. Minimize waste by passing on food to food banks. Government should encourage, insulation, use of solar power and recycling of most of wastes by investing in recycling technology.

  6. Encourage solar power use but need government to assist and not allow power companies to penalize people who install solar.

  7. Development has to be planned and consolidated to minimize impact on the environment upon which humans thrive.

  8. Yes, I am a senior executive in local government with 30 years experience.


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