Chair elected

by Anonymous Author

Environment Canterbury’s acting chairman Steve Lowndes is to step into the role full time.

Mr Lowndes was elected unopposed to the position of chair at a meeting of the regional council last week. Peter Scott was elected deputy chairman at the meeting.

He replaces former chairman David Bedford who resigned in July due to ill health. Mr Lowndes, who previously held the position of deputy chair, had become acting chair following Mr Bedford’s resignation.

Mr Lowndes said he was delighted and humbled to be elected into the role “This organisation undertakes very important work for the region, and I have been impressed with the knowledge, commitment and actions of my fellow councillors and the staff. 

“There are undoubtedly many challenges ahead and it is not an easy road, but the foundations are solid and I am confident that with the mix of views and skills we have access to, we can continue to deliver for the community.”

However, he said, his election was also bittersweet.

“It has only come about due to the failing health of David Bedford, who did an excellent job in bringing together and leading previously appointed and newly elected councillors.

“As a council, and personally, I would like to thank David for his legacy and wish him the very best.”

ECan is currently in the process of transitioning the organisation back to a fully elected council after elected members were sacked by the National government in 2010 and replaced by commissioners.

Currently the ECan council is made up of seven elected members and five appointed members with the council expected to be returned to full elections in 2019.