Outspoken on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Neil Kirton is passionate about protecting and restoring the region’s precious land, water and biodiversity. Neil has been a very effective voice for Napier and a crucial part the team driving the council’s far-reaching environmental agenda. Neil has a post-graduate science degree.
On council Neil has consistently focused attention on our coastal and marine environment. He has been a relentless advocate for protecting the Ahuriri Estuary, securing major funding of over $2.0 million for riparian planting. Neil represents the regional council on committee’s responsible for the Ahuriri Estuary. A justice of the peace and a member of parliament Neil, served as the Minister of Customs and Associate Minister of Health. He was responsible for introducing free healthcare for children under six.
Neil is chair of the council’s corporate and strategic committee. He is as a director on the council’s investment company, HBRIC that has generate exceptional investment returns, reducing rates to Napier households by around $200 each year. Keeping a majority of Napier Port shares in public ownership is an absolute bottom line, Neil says. As a regional councillor, HB Today described Neil as outspoken and constantly thinking about how the council is spending ratepayers money and its responsibility to the public. Every councillor is accountable to the public and to protect to always put the public interest first and foremost, he says.
Our coastal marine environment is much neglected. Ecosystems are under threat. Biodiversity is rapidly declining; animal and plant species are facing extinction around the world. Biodiversity is critical for the essential services provided, including pollination, carbon storage, filtration of water, nutrient cycling, soil formations, erosion control and sediment retention.
A changing climate will alter the environment and threaten our lifestyle and economy. Worldwide, sea level rise will affect low-lying coastal areas. As climate patterns shift for Hawke’s Bay, there may be some positives, such as fewer frost days and a longer growing season. In Hawke’s Bay, warmer temperatures, less rain overall and more…
Neil Kirton – Councillor Napier