Zone 3 chair/Mayor, Rangitikei District Council
Mayor, community leader, localism advocate
“Local government is the central government link to making things happen”
Andy Watson’s journey into local government started with joining local committees and school boards. Slowly but surely, he was drawn into the request to stand for council – and then ultimately the mayoralty. Local government runs in the family with his grandfather serving as a councillor and mayor in another district.
Alongside his local government role, Andy has a diverse background in agriculture, farming, small business, and tourism, providing him with insights into the challenges faced by these sectors and the complexities of local government processes.
Andy says he gets a real buzz from seeing businesses and people, especially the young guns, grow and thrive. In his eyes, local government plays a pivotal role by facilitating a direct link between national policies and the unique needs of the local community — the essence of localism.
To improve local government, Andy places emphasis on fostering a stronger collaboration between central and local authorities, surmounting the hurdles posed by funding issues, and adopting a forward-looking perspective that extends far into the future.
Outside of work, Andy enjoys engaging in outdoor activities, and playing squash. He loves his district for its vastness, sparse population, and the strong sense of community engagement and support.