Farewell to mayor of 15 years

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By KA­T­RINA TANI­RAU mata­mata.edi­tor@wrcn.co.nz

You could say that Dis­trict Mayor Hugh Ver­coe got in­volved with lo­cal body pol­i­tics by ac­ci­dent.

Fed up with a few things that were get­ting stalled, or not done at all in his home town, Mr Ver­coe was told the only way he was go­ing to have a voice was by be­com­ing a com­mu­nity board mem­ber. ‘‘I re­ally just wanted to make a dif­fer­ence,’’ he said. A stint as chair­per­son of the Mor­rinsville Com­mu­nity Board even­tu­ally led to a de­ci­sion to run for the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil and a 15 year run as dis­trict mayor.

Mr Ver­coe’s con­tri­bu­tion to the dis­trict and that of his part­ner Jill Barnes, were ac­knowl­edged last week at a gath­er­ing at Long­lands.

A num­ber of peo­ple paid spe­cial trib­ute to Mr Ver­coe in­clud­ing for­mer dis­trict mayor Ken Thomas, deputy mayor Jan Barnes, South Waikato Mayor Neil Sin­clair and Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil chair­man Peter Buck­ley.

Mr Ver­coe was pre­sented with some unique gifts hand­crafted by Mata­mata-Pi­ako coun­cil­lor and for­mer deputy mayor Bob McGrail.

As for the fu­ture, Mr Ver­coe is now vy­ing for a seat on the re­gional coun­cil.

Con­tri­bu­tion ap­pre­ci­ated: Dis­trict Mayor Hugh Ver­coe and Deputy Mayor Jan Barnes.

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