Keedwell keen to continue in role as regional council chairwoman
Dr Rachel Keedwell is standing for a second term as Horizons Regional Council chairwoman and her fourth term as a councillor. As one of four councillors representing the Palmerston North constituency for Horizons, Keedwell is looking forward to serving the region for a further term. “Being on council has been both hugely challenging and rewarding,” she says. “The past nine years have gone very quickly and there is so much more work I would like to do. “I would love to have another term on council and I also look forward to continued support from my colleagues to carry on in the role as chair.” Unlike a mayor who is voted in by the public, the chair of a regional council is elected by all of the councillors. In 2019, Keedwell unseated the previous chairman Bruce Gordon. If re-elected this year, she intends to seek support from her colleagues to carry on as chairwoman. “I have worked hard to form strong relationships both within and outside of Horizons, and to bring everyone along on the journey,” she says. “I’m particularly proud of the progress we have made in addressing climate change issues, working with iwi/Māori and in the environmental space.” Originally trained as a scientist, Keedwell has a PhD in ecology and feels this background has been essential in allowing her to advocate strongly for the regional council’s role of environmental stewardship. “The majority of regional councillors have traditionally come from farming backgrounds. “I believe, with my background, I bring balance to the council table.” Sitting Horizons councillor Fiona Gordon has also got her nomination in. The only other nomination for the Palmerston North constituency at the time of writing was Bal Ghimire. There were no nominations for the new Tonga Māori seat, which includes Palmerston North.