In case you missed the action, Rick Barker was elected chair of the Regional Council, taking the seat vacated by retiring Rex Graham.

And CHB farmer Will Foley was elected as vice-chair.

The selection of Councillor Barker ensures continuity of direction for the remaining 16 months of this Council’s term. Clearly Graham and Barker have been on the same page since Day 1 of their initial election to HBRC back in 2013.

Chairman Barker said to BayBuzz:

“I was elected onto the Council in 2013 with three others, and together we had a loosely formed but strong ambition to see HBRC play a stronger role protecting and enhancing our region’s environment. Much has been done — for example the rate of riparian planting has risen dramatically, new parks, stronger environmental protections and moves on climate adaptation and mitigation. The list goes on. The mission continues.”

Councillor Will Foley is serving his first term, representing Central Hawke’s Bay. His selection signals recognition of the central role of the region’s farming sector. He sits on the Hawke’s Bay Future Farming Trust and those familiar with Foley’s farming practices recognise that he represents the forward-looking side of the farming spectrum.

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