Regional sector representative/Chair Horizons Regional Council
Chair, ecologist, tramper, gardener
“Local government influences your day-to-day life so much more than central government, but people just don't seem to be aware of this.”
A PhD in ecology and strong desire to speak up for the environment drove Rachel Keedwell to local government. Prior to that, she had been working as an ecological consultant and ran a residential building company with her husband. These two complementary skill sets gave her a good background for contributing meaningfully around the council table.
She says it took a while to get her head around the sheer scale of work carried out by the regional council, but also believes that anyone who is committed, keen and ready to learn can do the job.
Rachel explains that the greatest upsides to the role are visiting new places and seeing all the work that is underway, forming new relationships and networks and always learning something more about the vast region.
In Rachel's book, a solid funding system is the golden ticket to success. Being forever asked to do more means rates keep increasing, which Rachel knows is not affordable for so many in the community.