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New Environment Canterbury chairman Alec Neill will today fulfil a promise to visit central South Island mayors to heal rifts with the Christchurch-based regional council.
Mr Neill, who was elected chairman on September 24 after former Ecan chairman Sir Kerry Burke was ousted by the regional council, promised then he would visit the mayors of Waitaki, Waimate, Mackenzie and Timaru.
Today, he will also call on Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew and plans a future visit to Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.
Cr Neill has promised a collaborative and inclusive style under his leadership and is making it a priority to rebuild and restore relationships.
"Environment Canterbury has some work to do at a governance level rebuilding relationships with central Government via local MPs and Ministers and also with the mayors of territorial authorities," Cr Neill said yesterday.
"This first visit will enable me to touch base with the mayors of Waitaki, Waimate and Timaru, as well as local MP Jo Goodhew, so they can be assured that I am serious about getting our relationship back on an even keel, with open communication in both directions," he said.
Cr Neill also hoped to meet Mackenzie Mayor John O'Neill, representing the fourth council in Environment Canterbury's southern area, soon.
Mr Neill starts his southern visit at 11am, meeting Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton in Oamaru.
He is then scheduled to meet Waimate Mayor John Coles, and attend a regional policy statement presentation at the Waimate District Council.
Later in the day he is due to meet Mrs Goodhew and have dinner with Timaru Mayor Janie Annear.