Dr Jason Smith (Mayor)

Tena 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.


  • Remuneration and Development Committee (Chair)
  • Kaipara Horizons Committee (Chair)
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Group
  • Kaipara Moana Negotiations Group

The Mayor is a member of every committee of the local authority as per legislation.