The Rotorua Districts Residents and Ratepayers group has moved swiftly to replace Peter Jones as a candidate for this year’s local body elections.
The group says Lachlan McKenzie, a Kaharoa farmer, has been “endorsed” to replace financier Peter Jones, who recently withdrew to stand as an independent.
Lachlan, who flirted with politics at national rural level, has lived at Kaharoa for 25 years and has interest in holdings in the area.
Raised on a farm at Maniapoto, Lachlan graduated from Massey University with a BAgSc. After experience with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, he started his own farming business, RDRR spokeswoman Glenys Searancke says.
He also advised the Rotorua Council on economic development, and central government on small business enterprise and on land and water sustainability, says Glenys.
Lachlan is RDRR’s ninth choice this year in its bloc of six, aiming to supplant the majority of Rotorua Lakes councillors, which its leader Reynold Macpherson terms a ‘regime’.
So far, Kevin Coutts, Wilhelmina Mohi and Peter Jones have withdrawn from standing for the group for various reasons, with Coutts and Jones severing all ties.
While Coutts has kept silent counsel on why he left, Jones said last week he felt the management style autocratic.
Lachlan McKenzie reached Federated Farmers for three years at national level, curtailed when he unsuccessfully stood for the top job.
But he has not been lost locally.
The RDRR statement says, “his other governance experience includes advising Rotorua District Council on economic development, and central government on small business enterprise and on land and water sustainability”.
Since an at large elected rural voice is absent on the council – though lakes and rural personnel do have speaking but not voting rights at present – Lachlan adds clout to the RDRR push to dominate the council.