Bevan Morrison and Dave Stott have been elected as co-chairs of One Mahurangi Business Association.
Mr Morrison is part of the Morrison family that owns extensive industrial land in Warkworth and the Morrison Heritage Orchard.
He is an engineer who worked for more than 20 years in the oil and gas industry overseas, before returning to New Zealand to look after his family’s interests and take up property development and project management.
He says businesses face a challenging time dealing with Covid and the association’s job is to help local businesses to get specialist advice and help in interpreting Government rules and regulations related to the disease.
He says there are also massive challenges around infrastructure and it’s critical that the association remain engaged on roading projects like the Hill Street intersection upgrade, the Sandspit link road and the Western Collector.
“If we don’t have a cohesive approach, Auckland Council will do whatever it wants – whether good or bad for us,” he says.
Mr Morrison says his strengths include the ability to build relationships, but at the same time the ability to “cut through the fluffy stuff” and reach a decision.
Mr Stott steps into the co-chair role after serving as deputy chair last year. He is now retired but formerly was director of Strategix Consulting – a project management company that oversaw construction of the Oaks Retirement Village and the restoration of the Warkworth Hotel.
Mr Stott says one issue Warkworth business will soon face is that traffic travelling on SH1 will tend to bypass Warkworth once the Puhoi to Warkworth motorway is finished.
He says Orewa faced the same challenge following completion of Johnstones Hill tunnels and was faced with reinventing itself to attract people to the town, which included further development of its foreshore.
“We will be talking to retailers about innovative ways we can encourage more people to come here,” he says.
Mr Stott says the association will also be fighting hard to retain commercial and industrial land, saying that plan changes have diminished the amount available, reducing opportunities for local employment.
“We want to be as self-sufficient as possible, rather than just a commuter suburb of Auckland,” he says.
Mr Stott says his main strength is the ability to listen to people and be as inclusive as possible.
“We have got quite a diverse group of people here – with a diverse range of interests and political views. The association needs someone who can guide the organisation through these differences,” he says.