Media Release 9 December , 2022

Paula Southgate to step down from Waikato River Authority

Waikato River Authority Co-Chair Paula Southgate has announced she is stepping down from the organisation to concentrate on the changes to local government and city growth challenges over the next few years.
Paula Southgate says she has spoken to her appointing minister (Hon David Parker, Minister for the Environment) and made her announcement at today’s Annual General Meeting of the Waikato River Authority.

Ms Southgate has been at the Authority for nearly three years and during that time has worked with her co-chair Tipa Mahuta to oversee the development of a long-term strategy for the Waikato River Authority together with a multi-year funding approach for restoration projects. “Being involved with such a fantastic kaupapa for the river is extremely rewarding, however, there are some massive challenges ahead for local government which will mean devoting more of my time to my mayoral duties over the medium term,” she says.

“It’s a decision I have taken some time to consider. I am looking forward to continuing the ethos of the Waikato River Authority through all the wonderful work that we do at Council, in our ongoing focus to both protect and promote our awa.”
Co-chair Tipa Mahuta says Paula Southgate was able to bring a special set of skills and experience to the co-chair role for the benefit of the Authority and ultimately the awa, “Co-Chair Southgate’s ability to see the big regional picture as well as local community priorities has been invaluable for the Authority”.

The Waikato River Authority is a co-governance entity made up of five River Iwi appointees and five Crown appointees. The Authority is tasked with improving the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River and Waipā River.