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Waikato Mayoral Forum elects new chair and deputy

Allan Sanson has been elected chair of the Waikato Mayoral Forum, which includes mayors and the regional council chair.

Two were nominated for the forum’s top job during a meeting in Hamilton today (Monday, 25 November) – Waikato district’s Mr Sanson and Hauraki’s mayoral newcomer Toby Adams.

Mr Sanson edged ahead in the voting at 5-3, with members acknowledging that he is the longest serving mayor in the region and has previously held the chair’s role. Mr Adams was elected unopposed as the forum’s deputy chair.

Mr Sanson replaces Alan Livingston, who had been chair of both the forum and Waikato Regional Council until his retirement from local politics in the October 2019 elections.

The forum is designed as an informal gathering of Waikato’s council leaders to share ideas and look at how councils can best work together. All decisions on individual councils’ involvement in, and spending on, joint workstreams are left with those councils.

During the first meeting of the forum this triennium, Mr Sanson said it was an exciting time for the Waikato and collaboration would play an important role in achieving the best for regional communities.

But it was important to examine the forum’s future role and identify priority areas for focus for the following three years, he said.

“We have an opportunity to look closely at what the mayoral forum might want to achieve in the next three years. There’s no doubt we have progressed a range of collaborative opportunities since the forum was first established in 2012 – but we need rejuvenation and a new focus going forward,” Mr Sanson said.

“It’s a situation from here of looking to identify opportunities and see where the forum can best and more strategically focus its efforts,” said Mr Sanson.

The forum is next due to meet in February 2020.