Environment Canterbury chairman resigns

David Bedford has resigned as Environment Canterbury chairman due to ill health.

Environment Canterbury’s chairman David Bedford has resigned due to ill health.

Cr Bedford had taken a leave of absence from the role two months ago, but ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield said he has now resigned.

He was appointed as a commissioner to ECan after the Government ousted the elected regional councillors in 2010.

After the 2016 local body elections, he was appointed by Environment Minister Nick Smith as a councillor.

ECan is made of seven elected and six Government appointed councillors.

Cr Steve Lowndes will continue in the acting chairman role until  a new Government is formed and a decision is made regarding Cr Bedford’s replacement, said Mr Bayfield.

“During David’s time serving the regional council, he has driven significant change because of his strong financial and business acumen,” said Mr Bayfield.

“He has also built strong relationships with district councils and many other organisations across the region, particularly aligned with his leadership of the air quality portfolio and his involvement with the Hurunui Waiau and Kaikōura water management zone committees.

“David’s enthusiasm and drive has been appreciated by all those in the organisation who have worked with him,” said Mr Bayfield.

Dr Smith said Cr Bedford alongside the other ECan commissioners had turned it from being one of the “worst performers in local government to one of the best”.

“Canterbury is indebted to him for his years of service to ECan at a difficult time, involving major organisational changes and the challenges of the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. I know the people of North Canterbury have been particularly appreciative,” he said.