Vote Stuart Perry for Council

Accountable, Honest and Reliable

Why I am standing for the District Council

I’ve been asked by many people to stand for council. ‘We need commonsense around the council table’, they say.
That’s what I will bring, along with 30 years of professional experience, an in-depth knowledge of the workings of council and a practical approach to protecting the ratepayers assets.
I genuinely believe we can cut rates and certainly get them under control. The ratepayer should not be treated as a ‘cashcow’ for the whims of minority groups.

Candidate profile statement:

My wife and I have lived most of our married life in rural NZ. My career includes senior roles in Councils, private enterprise, in tourism and economic development through New Zealand, Australia and Pacific islands.

I have 30 years of executive experience, an in-depth understanding of local councils and governance and fresh lateral thinking to strengthen our community.

I know we can improve district management for our communities and get rates under control. Rural issues include protecting productive land, improving roads, bridges, security, water and protecting the environment.

We need a new council with a clear vision for the future, a positive attitude together with honesty and integrity, that works for the people without overburdening them with bureaucracy. We can make a change. More on

The Ratepayers deserve better and as such, I would be honoured to serve as your Councillor.


Stuart Perry is a married man with adult children. Currently, he is a horticulturist on a small block in Crownthorpe but  Stuart has a wide background as a professional executive in marketing, tourism and council management in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

‘My career includes being CEO and General Manager of medium to large companies, GM for regional and state tourism organisations in NZ and Australia, and a CEO working with the government of Tonga’. I’ve worked on the land, in factories and been self employed and know that to achieve, you must be prepared to work hard and smart. I have worked at a senior level in a number of councils and know how they can be managed for the betterment of the communities they are there to serve.’

His extensive background also includes horticulture, factory management, publishing as well as radio and television.

Hawkes Bay has been home for the past 15 years – in Havelock North, Hastings city and now living on a lifestyle block in rural Hastings.

Stuart came to Hawkes Bay as the Tourism Manager for the Hastings District Council and was there for two years managing the tourism properties and marketing for the district in the mid 2000’s until the council went through a restructuring.

‘Since then, through my tourism contracts, I have had a close working relationship with 13 different councils – I understand how they should work for you’.

He has been working on tourism management and development projects in New Zealand, Australia (in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania) and more recently in Tonga and Gisborne.

Stuart’s wife Jenny is a teacher working in schools in the Hastings district.

Stuart is a man with vision, passion and integrity, with an intimate knowledge of councils and how they work, a great understanding of commercial reality and a strong sense of social responsibility.

How to Vote

All local elections are held by postal vote. Voting papers will be posted  to all voters who are enrolled between September 20 and October 12th. You must be enrolled to vote in local elections. This year for the first time, you are able to register later than previously. Check with the Council for details.

Your voting papers must be received by the returning officer before the 12th October 2019. More information is available on the councils website:

Only people who are correctly enrolled will receive their voting papers in the mail. Enrol, check and update your details here.

You can find out more about enrolling to vote here.

Go to Issues Page for information on ….

  1. Get the votes in
  2. C.B.D. ‘revitalisation’
  3. Ease the rates burden
  4. Economic development – not enough action
  5. Tourism
  6. Economy
  7. Emergency housing
  8. Safety for our elderly

Transcript –


Edited extracts from public ‘Mayoral Candidates Debate’ 2017.

I am Stuart Perry, a married man with two adult children and four fantastic grandchildren. Jenny and I chose Hastings as our home 15 years ago, and I want to make sure it stays the great district we have always believed it to be. For that reason and listening to concerns of the ratepayers about the current administration, I decided it was time for a change.

To be perfectly frank, if the Havelock North water crisis is an example of the experience that councillors bring to this election, then I’m sure you agree that’s experience you don’t need.

It is a distinct advantage not being on council because I can bring a fresh perspective that others cannot offer.

First, I’ll tell you what I’m not. I’m not a yes man, I’m not a clone of previous administrations, I don’t stretch the truth, and I am not beholden to special interest groups and hidden donors – Jenny and I have funded my campaign out of our own pockets.

So what experience does this non-councillor bring to the table, what can I offer to serve this community.

To offer good leadership, you need life’s experiences finely honed into the skills needed to guide a community. To be a good leader you need to be able to relate to the community, to be able to talk to all walks of life and be a good listener and mould that into policies and actions that reflect the wishes of those in the community.

My leadership skills come from 30 years of executive management, from years of working on boards and 30 years in General Management and Chief Executive positions. My leadership skills come from managing teams of a hundred or more on the factory floor, from working with small community groups and from working alongside cabinet ministers and prime ministers.

My knowledge of the machinations of councils comes from sitting through hundreds of hours of council meetings.

My understanding of the needs and wishes of a community come from the experience of living in cities such as Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane, from living in provincial towns like Hawera and provincial cities like Wanganui and of course Hastings.  My connection with communities comes from living and working in the suburbs and living and working on the land.

I am sensitive to social needs and deprivation because I have worked overseas in a third world country amongst abject poverty.

My ability to achieve comes from being self-employed and knowing you have to succeed to put a meal on the table at the end of the day. My success also comes from leading large companies, doubling the profits and creating jobs to strengthen communities.

So, if someone asks me, do I have the experience to lead this council and serve the community, my answer is an unequivocal yes – I do have that skill set and I do have the drive, the enthusiasm, the energy and belief not only in myself but also the belief in the ability of the community to run with the same dream.

Can I tell you that I grew up in the Bronx – I grew up in South Auckland and 100 yards down the road was a dairy farm. While I grew up in a tough neighbourhood, I chose to better myself, to go through the school of hard knocks and make my life the success – the way it has turned out.

But that’s the sort of start in life that gives you empathy, an understanding of what young families need from their community, what the senior citizens have a right to expect from their home town, what businesses need to survive in the cut-throat world of commerce today.

I’m prepared and able to make the tough decisions, stand by them and take responsibility for my actions.

Those actions will include bringing back free parking, economic development and inner-city living, reigning in the bureaucrats, better roads and walkways protecting our villages and communities and getting our rates under control.

So that’s who I am. No pretence, open, positive, a belief that we can make this a better district, that we will continue to trumpet that Hastings is the capital of Hawkes Bay and that this council and I will deliver on our promises.

Ah – the good old politicians promise.

So, what is this promise? It’s a contract between you and me. It’s an agreement that when you elect me to the office of Mayor of the Hastings District, I will do what I have said I will do.

And here’s the first example of a contract between you and me.

You will have fresh clean safe drinking water.

You will have chlorine- free drinking water.

We will drill new bores

You will have confidence in the office of the Mayor and the council to do the right thing by you and for you.

I am looking forward to the debate tonight because it gives me the opportunity to say again to the people of the Hastings District – you deserve better.


See ‘Issues Page’ for opinions on issues listed below.

  1. Ease the rates burden
  2. Economic development – not enough action
  3. Tourism
  4. Opera House renovations
  5. CEO Salary rise
  6. Economy
  7. Emergency housing
  8. Safety for our elderly

Rates, Safety, Water and more

Hastings is a buoyant district with enormous potential. We are blessed with living in one of the most temperate parts of New Zealand, with magnificent landscapes and incredibly productive farmland of agriculture, horticulture and wineries. This surrounds vibrant townships with the commercial engine of the region Hastings at its heart.

Our district has the potential through smart economic development to build the economy, strengthen business and create jobs to hold our families together. We need to ensure that the region stays dynamic enough to keep the young job-seeker here in the Bay. Council’s responsibility is to support business activity and economic growth. It is not to wrap the opportunities for growth in ‘red tape’ in fact it is our responsibility to cut through the bureaucracy and make things happen. The answer must always be positive – ‘Yes, how can we make that happen’!

You Deserve better

Tourism can provide a major boost to our district’s economy – not just through job growth but also helping promote the district, attracting the visitors to stay here longer and spend locally.

Rampant bureaucracy can cause unnecessary rate increases and that is totally unacceptable. No rates should rise above the rate of inflation and it’s not unrealistic to see a reduction in the rate burden.

Community facilities reflect the community and the parks and reserves are a credit to the region and council staff. The Hawkes Bay Opera House is not just a Hastings asset but a regional facility and a national treasure.

Many criticise the councils past performance – or lack of it – there is no point in looking back apart from learning from past mistakes. Let’s look forward to a positive future, all work together to make the Hastings District the vibrant, dynamic region it should be.

Council is the servant of the people and must reflect the wishes of the ratepayers, but it is also the responsibility of us all to work as a team to achieve the goals we set.

It’s your district and you deserve better.

Read the issues in detail on the ‘issues’ page on this website and keep up to date – click the ‘blog’ link above.