Mayor and Councillors

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Left to right: Dr. Jason Smith (Mayor), Karen Joyce-Paki, Julie Geange, Libby Jones, Peter Wethey (Deputy Mayor), Johnathan Larsen, Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock, Anna Curnow, Absent: Andrew Wade

Register of Members' Interests (16 October 2018)

Jason Smith-277 Dr Jason Smith (Mayor)

Tēnā koutou nga tangata o te rohe o Kaipara. I am a fifth generation Kaipara local, Dargaville-born and raised in Ruawai, passionate about the place, its environment, and making great futures here. In the 1990s I developed a successful kauri eco-tourism business on the Ruawai family farm. From 2002-2005 I served as CEO of the Kaipara Development Agency, a Council-controlled organisation, then completed a Ph.D in economic development public policy. In 2012 I returned to the farm, winning two Ballance Farm Environment Awards (2016). Now 46, I am ready and able to serve the people of Kaipara District as Mayor. Kaipara is in my DNA and I am excited but concerned about the future here - excited about its productive potential but concerned to ensure we’re set up for changes on our doorstep.
Peter Wethey-251-699
Peter Wethey (Deputy Mayor)
Otamatea Ward
021 740 941

Peter Wethey is married and lives permanently at Mangawhai Heads. He and his wife, Jane, together have 5 children and 7 grandchildren.  Peter has an extensive business background having held senior executive roles in major corporates engaged in the pulp and paper, and meat processing industries. This experience extending over 25 years includes significant business conducted in Asia-Pacific rim countries as well as managing the establishment of a joint venture beef processing operation in China.
Having a science degree he has a keen interest in environmental issues and while working in the meat industry negotiated resource consents with four North Island Regional Councils.
Latterly Peter has owned his own business and can empathise with small business owners over the issues that they must deal with on a day to day basis.
Peter is experienced in good governance having served as Chair of both a large grammar school and an incorporated society. He also represented his corporate employers on the boards of both subsidiary and joint venture companies.
During the last three years Peter has been a volunteer Community Advisor on two Kaipara District Council initiatives. The first was a study into the potential options for the future of the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme (MCWWS) and the second a water quality study of the Mangawhai Harbour which aims at creating a database with which to develop a sustainable management plan to protect the quality of water in the harbour.
Peter enjoys both golf and fishing and is a member of the Mangawhai Golf and the Boating & Fishing Clubs.
Libby Jones-935 Libby Jones
Otamatea Ward
021 208 0093

Libby Jones is committed to community well‑being and sound governance. She seeks to be well informed in order to make the best decisions for the whole district.  Her goal is an innovative and progressive Kaipara, which responds to the area’s changing needs and works together effectively to build strong healthy communities.
Libby has over 25 years experience working in health, social services and the community in clinical, leadership and funding roles. Presently she works as manager of a community organisation - Jigsaw North Family Services, based in Whangarei.
Libby has been involved in governance for over 15 years and currently serves on Northland District Health Board, Rural Support Trust Northland, Sport Northland, Volunteering Northland and Otamatea High School Board of Trustees.  
Libby lives with her husband, Pete Hames, at Taipuha near Paparoa, farming beef cattle and grazing dairy heifers on their farm blocks. They have two teenage daughters and are active community members. She is determined to help make Kaipara a better place for all. 

J-Larsen-Image Jonathan Larsen
Otamatea Ward
021 185 8389

Jonathan Larsen has been involved in Kaipara district all of his life. He is a graduate of Massey University, is well versed in the legislation and processes of local government, and has proven skills as a ratepayer advocate. He has experience in farming and forestry, and owns property at Kaiwaka and Mangawhai. 

Karen Joyce-Paki-238 Karen Joyce-Paki
Dargaville Ward 
021 439 316

Tēnā koutou katoa (Greetings, hello to you all) 
Dargaville and its surrounds has been Karen’s home and community for over 40 years.  She and her husband William intend to happily raise their children and retire here.
Karen is excited to be part of the new vibrant Council and working with passionate people who represent Kaipara. 
Karen’s background is in community engagement having worked for local and central government for many years. She also serves the community as a Justice of the Peace. 
Karen’s focus throughout her term will be:
  • Building enduring relationships that are based on trust and integrity
  • Demonstrating to ratepayers that Council is operating fairly with the best interests across the district
  • Fostering good relationships with Kaipara’s youth to build knowledge and understanding and seeking involvement with decisions that affect them in the future.
Kaipara’s spectacular landscape offers some unique opportunities and with good planning can be improved; providing infrastructure, economic growth and social connection to our town, rural and coastal communities.
Karen encourages you to get involved in the future of Kaipara; have your say about decisions that will affect you, our community and our environment.
Hei konā mai i roto I ngā mihi (Goodbye and thank you)
Andrew Wade photojpg Page1-283-807 Andrew Wade
Dargaville Ward

Andrew Wade grew up locally.  Early in his working career he completed a plumbing apprenticeship and has travelled extensively.   
Along with wife Jeanette they have been running Wade Concrete Products for the past 27 years in the Dargaville Township.
Andrew’s key focus areas are:
Andrew is looking forward to working with good leadership and has every intention of retiring here. 
Anna Curnow-470-92 Anna Curnow
West Coast/Central Ward
021 667 124

Anna is a mother of two daughters who lives in Ruawai with her dairy farmer partner, Garth Preston.  She moved to Kaipara in 2006 and has a passion for our district and the opportunities that exist within it.
Her background in business management (both corporate and not-for-profit sectors), the digital and media sectors and SME development gives her a broad skill set.  A term on a school board ignited a passion for governance that led to her working with Government appointed Commissioners (2012 to 2016) at Kaipara District Council as the Governance Officer.  This in turn ignited a passion for local government.
After leaving her role at Council in 2015, Anna worked on the development of the Northland Economic Action Plan and an approach to mapping out strategies for primary production in Northland over the next decades.
Anna is a hard worker with an ability to listen to a wide range of views and distill them into a workable plan.  She is an active member of a number of community groups that focus on creating growth opportunities for our small towns.
Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock-165-586 Victoria Del La Varis-Woodcock
West Coast/Central Ward 
027 3520566

Victoria del la Varis-Woodcock is a long time Kaipara identity, who has lived in Pouto, at Rotu Valley and for the last 10 years on Avoca Road, in the area between Waihue and Tangowahine Valleys.
Victoria brings to Council a commitment to advocate for improved services for Kaipara people and better protection of Kaipara’s unique environment.  To her role as a Councillor, Victoria brings creative and critical thinking skills, having refined these skills through a broad tertiary education in the arts and practical work experience. Her early studies as a linguist and in design laid the foundation for a varied career working as an interpreter, teacher, artist and project manager.
For the last 18 years, Victoria has added ‘mother’ to her list of jobs. More recently, Victoria has focused on political studies, completing a Master of Arts in politics. These studies propelled Victoria into action for the environment, where she sought to apply her project management skills to establish the Love Kaipara Waste Minimisation Education project. This comprises the practical and theoretical foundation from which Victoria builds her vision for a just Kaipara society, where local government supports people and the environment they live in.
Geange Julie Geange
West Coast/Central Ward

Known mainly as the youngest Councillor to ever be elected to the Kaipara Distrcit Council, Julie has lived in the Kaipara District for over 20 years, she has a background in the rural sector and strong business management skills. Julie has a strong sense of the Western community and has been an active member of many clubs and organisations in the district. Developing long lasting governance relationships is a key goal and one Julie excels at.  Julie actively promotes and defends the ongoing training of elected members to ensure good decisions are made, this is an area she believes cannot be compromised, she also believes that to have good representation elected members should be remunerated in line with what the NZ Remuneration Authority determines.  Julie is committed to ensuring good outcomes of constituent issues and will go the extra mile, travelling the backroads of the district to ensure satisfaction. This is Julies third term as a councillor for the Kaipara District, she was previously elected as the first female Deputy Mayor by her peers. She is currently council’s representative on the Regional Transport Committee.


Online requests 

Kaipara District Council
0800 727 059 (24 Hours)
Phone: +64 9 439 7059


Office hours: 8 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday

Address: 42 Hokianga Road, Dargaville 0310
Address: Unit 6, The Hub, 6 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai 0505

Mail: Private Bag 1001, Dargaville 0340


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