Adrienne Staples. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Wairarapa will have a voice at Greater Wellington Regional Council’s top table.
Experienced politician Adrienne Staples is the regional body’s new deputy chairwoman.
Staples, the former South Wairarapa mayor, was sworn in for her second term on the regional council board on Wednesday.
Wellington councillor Daran Ponter was named as the council’s chairman.
Ponter and Staples replace Chris Laidlaw and Barbara Donaldson in the roles.
Staples said it was an honour to represent Wairarapa and take on the extra responsibilities of the role.
“Because it [Wellington] is a big region, it’s quite diverse as you can imagine.
“And my values, and where I’m coming from, over here in Wairarapa is quite different to somebody who is based in one of the metropolitan parts of the area, for instance Wellington city.
“We see it, as a council, as having a leadership team that is drawing on the strengths of both of us.
“We really see it as having diverse strengths in the leadership role. I see my position as very much supporting the chair.”
A regional councillor needs to be able to put aside their own patch and look at matters with a regional focus, she said, but it was essential she had a “strong voice” because Wairarapa values differed to other areas values.
“Of course, there are some things the same. We all want to have clean water, and we all want to be healthy and we all want to be safe. But how we get there, someone from rural, provincial New Zealand may have different ideals to how a metropolitan person might perceive it.
“So, it’s important that we’re going to be at the top table”
The regional council board has yet to determine committee structures. The board’s first meeting is scheduled for November 20.