Whakatāne District Mayor Tony Bonne has this morning announced his retirement from local government, at the conclusion of the current triennium, to a packed audience attending the Council’s annual Over-80’s Christmas Morning Tea.

Mayor Bonne said that after serving the community for 18 years – 12 of those as Mayor – it was time for new blood to come through.

“It will give me more time to devote to Linda and my family, and provide an opportunity to take on a new challenge,” Mayor Bonne said.

“I have enjoyed every minute representing our District and have enjoyed working with a group of talented and committed councilors, and the entire community, to make our District what it is today.

“Once you pause and look back, you come to realise that as a Council, we have achieved a great deal. To name but a few achievements, we have:

  • Constructed the award-winning Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre – Te Kōputu a Te Whanga a Toi – and our new District Museum and Research Centre – Te Whare Taonga o Taketake
  • Sold Council land to allow residential subdivisions to proceed, creating new urban living spaces and deepening our rates base
  • Implemented a new District Plan
  • Developed stronger and deeper Iwi relationships and partnerships
  • Secured Air Chathams as our key air transport link after the departure of Air New Zealand
  • Completed a number of key flood mitigation projects
  • And lead the District through the recovery from the disastrous 2017 floods.

“I can assure you all that I will keep my foot firmly on the accelerator right through until the end of my Mayoralty, and there are a number of projects I would like to cement in before I go. These include having a firm direction in the Three Waters space; a commercial arm to invest and protect the community’s assets for future generations; and firming up the reality of a lifestyle retirement village,” he said.

“Local government is an exciting place and I thank the community for the honour it has bestowed on me – because it has been a privilege to represent you all.”

Mayor Bonne confirmed that he will enter the local real estate industry, following the conclusion of his term in office in October 2019.