New look regional council 

Clyde Graf

Four didn’t stand, four were voted out, two were returned unopposed – and just four were voted back into power in a day of change for the Waikato Regional Council.

Clyde Graf overcame unwanted reminders of a dark past and allegations of sharing “disinformation” to pull off one of the surprise results of an eventful election.

He replaces Andrew MacPherson who stood down, as one of two Waipā-King Country ward members.

The other sitting ward member, Stu Kneebone, bolted home first with 10,177 votes.

Stu Kneebone

Graf, who is anti-1080, ran for Parliament with United Future in 2011 and has served on the regional council before, so his history has been well documented. Graffiti reminding voters he had been convicted of armed robbery 36 years ago was daubed on at least one of his posters. Stuff reported in the wash up of the election on Saturday that he frequently shared disinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine on social media.

The successful campaigns by Kneebone and Graf came at the expense of regional council leader Barry Quayle, who was put into the chair in May following the dumping of Russ Rimmington.

Quayle made a fateful late call to switch from Hamilton to Waipā-King Country to reflect the fact he was moving to Cambridge.

But the former Fieldays chief executive polled last with 5817 votes  – losing his seat – and Judy Sherriff was third with 7326 votes.

Judy Sherriff

It all means six councillors will be joined by eight newbies at table when the new council meets in Hamilton for the first time on October 27 to elect its third chairperson for 2022.

Newcomers are Graf, Bruce Clarkson, Chris Hughes, Mich’eal Doward, Warren Maher, Robert Cookson, Ben Dunbar-Smith and Noel Smith.

Quayle, Rimmington, Fred Lichtwark and Dennis Tegg were voted out, Stu Husband, Hugh Vercoe, Kathy White and MacPherson did not seek election.

Husband was beaten in a close race by sitting councillor, Walton dairy farmer Adrienne Wilcock, in the race to succeed Matamata-Piako mayor Ash Tanner.

Barry Quayle

Four didn’t stand, four were voted out, two were returned unopposed – and just four were voted back into power in a day of change for the Waikato Regional Council.

Clyde Graf overcame unwanted reminders of a dark past and allegations of sharing “disinformation” to pull off one of the surprise results of an eventful election.

He replaces Andrew MacPherson who stood down, as one of two Waipā-King Country ward members.

The other sitting ward member, Stu Kneebone, bolted home.

Graf, who is anti-1080, ran for Parliament with United Future in 2011 and has served on the regional council before, so his history has been well documented. Graffiti reminding voters he had been convicted of armed robbery 36 years ago was daubed on at least one of his posters. Stuff reported in the wash up of the election on Saturday that he frequently shared disinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine on social media.

The successful campaigns by Kneebone and Graf came at the expense of regional council leader Barry Quayle, who was put into the chair in May following the dumping of Russ Rimmington.

Quayle made a fateful late call to switch from Hamilton to Waipā-King Country to reflect the fact he was moving to Cambridge.

But the former Fieldays chief executive polled last with 5817 votes  – losing his seat – and Judy Sherriff was third with 7326 votes.

It all means six councillors will be joined by eight newbies at table when the new council meets in Hamilton for the first time on October 27 to elect its third chairperson for 2022.

Newcomers are Graf, Bruce Clarkson, Chris Hughes, Mich’eal Doward, Warren Maher, Robert Cookson, Ben Dunbar-Smith and Noel Smith.

The survivors from the election are the council’s two Māori ward members, Kataraina Hodge and Tipa Mahuta who were elected unopposed, Pamela Storey, Kneebone, Angela Strange and Jennifer Nickel.

Quayle, Rimmington, Fred Lichtwark and Dennis Tegg were voted out, Stu Husband, Hugh Vercoe, Kathy White and MacPherson did not seek election.

Husband was beaten in a close race by sitting councillor, Walton dairy farmer Adrienne Wilcock, in the race to succeed Matamata-Piako mayor Ash Tanner.

More Recent News

Council wants more data

A feasibility study presented to Waipā’s Strategy Planning and Policy committee this week to establish a youth business incubator hub in Te Awamutu lacked key information needed to obtain council funding. The proposal has the…

Ōhaupō changes ahead

Within 30 years Ōhaupō will be a small town growing to the north and Karāpiro will have a new school in a thriving village hub. The suggestions are two of several scenarios in Ahu Ake,…

Community ‘disconnect’

The plan for Karāpiro has taken at least one Waipā councillor by surprise but another who works there says the community has felt disconnected for years. Ahu Ake Waipā Community Spatial Plan has picked up…

Ladies in waiting

Te Awamutu Intermediate students were pictured just before their performance at last week’s Celebrating Waipā event at Karāpiro. Guests joined mayor Susan O’Regan, councillors and community board members at the Don Rowlands Centre for the…