Sam was re-elected to his second term as Mayor of Waikirikiri Selwyn in 2021. He has been part of local government since he first became a councillor in 2010. Sam has a vision for Selwyn that builds on the solid foundations that he acknowledges has been laid by those that have gone before him. He has a passion to engage with people across all parts of the district to understand their aspirations and to support their growth and wellbeing. When he was elected to Mayor in 2016 he said ‘meeting with people face to face with people is really important’ and he continues that philosophy today.
Sam’s focus is to manage the now and look to the future. Much of that work revolves around strategic planning for when the Selwyn population reaches 300,000. Acknowledging that he will not be the Mayor at that point he sees himself as a custodian with the responsibility to continue Selwyn’s remarkable journey as the place that is attracting more New Zealanders than any other district. With his rural and youth work background Sam has a strong environmental focus and has been instrumental in leading council through the approval of its first formal climate change policy. He has a desire to see young people achieve their potential and supports their development as a member of the Mayors Task Force for jobs. Under his guidance Council have delivered a number of flagship infrastructure projects delivering on his promise to meet ‘the challenges of growth and providing the right infrastructure at the right time’ when he was first elected Mayor.
Sam is also the leader of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, the chair of Takiwā Tuarima, the Local Government body representing eighteen Councils across the South Island, and one of twelve Mayors who sit on LGNZ National Council. In these roles Sam is perusing his desire to see New Zealand prosper and to influence Government decision making for issues that affect the daily lives of all those that live in Aotearoa. He has recently taken a lead role in drawing together Ngāi Tahu and South Island councils enabling their joint advocacy regarding water reforms and has been appointed as a special advocate to the Future for Local Government review panel.
Sam lives in Darfield with his wife Liz and daughter Elliott, he enjoys road trips on his motorbike with friends, playing the guitar and spending time with his family. He has a passion for cricket, has dabbled in lawn bowls and loves 1990’s pop music.
Thursday 21st October
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