News, Events and Culture

New deputy mayor for Palmerston North and expanded committee structure

Wednesday October 26 2016

Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith has appointed councillor Tangi Utikere as the new deputy mayor.

Head and shoulders photo of city councillor Tangi Utikere.

Third-term councillor Tangi Utikere is Palmerston North's new deputy mayor.

Mayor Smith made the announcement at the City Council’s inaugural meeting this evening.

Mr Utikere says it will be an honour for him to serve as deputy mayor.

“I wish to thank the mayor and my colleagues for expressing such confidence in me. I pledge to encourage and support them as we continue to make good decisions our behalf of the city.”

Mr Utikere, 36, is in his third term on Council having first been elected in 2010.

“In my new role, I will still be getting out and about in the community and I will continue to reflect the views of those I serve,” he says.

Mayor Grant Smith says Mr Utikere will help take the Council and the city to the next level of achievement.  

“Tangi has dedicated himself to public service. He became a Justice of the Peace at the age of 27 – one of the youngest ever appointed. He is now in his second term as chairperson of the hearings committee and head of the chief executive’s performance review panel.

“Tangi is a highly respected senior councillor, who handles the complexity of local government with ease. He just rolls up his sleeves and gets on with the job.”

Mr Utikere replaces councillor Duncan McCann who for family reasons did not seek the role of deputy mayor for a second term.

“I’m extremely grateful to Duncan for all of his work during the last term and he will continue to be a senior member of my team.

“Duncan is the new chair of the planning and strategy committee which is responsible for some of the meatiest issues on Council, including environmental and wastewater planning, urban design bylaws and strategies.”

Mayor Smith says three senior councillors will continue chairing key committees. They are councillors Leonie Hapeta (sport and recreation) Vaughan Dennison (audit and risk) and Susan Baty (finance and performance).

“These committees have run extremely well under their leadership during the last term and I’m sure their good work will continue.”

Councillor Aleisha Rutherford will become the new chair of the community development committee.

Mayor Smith says two new Council committees have been created to strengthen Council’s roles in economic development and the arts, culture and heritage sectors.

“Senior councillor Adrian Broad will chair the economic development committee. It will oversee international relations including the sister cities programme and international education. It will work across the city’s economic sectors including digital and technology, logistics, agribusiness, health, retail and defence.”

Mayor Smith says the arts, culture and heritage committee chaired by councillor Rachel Bowen will focus on arts and heritage policy and events including civic ceremonies such Anzac Day and the Charter Parade, facilities like Square Edge, and Council controlled organisations Caccia Birch House, Globe Theatre, Regent on Broadway, and Te Manawa Museum Trust.

“Across all of our committees, I have been keen to promote youth in combination with wisdom and experience, always with an eye to the future.”

Photo shows mayor and 15 city councillors dressed formally and standing outdoors on a steel staircase.

Palmerston North's newly sworn in City Council.