David Clendon, the new Chair of Vision Kerikeri, has a relationship with the town that began long before he and his partner Lindis moved here full-time in 2012.
“After years of holidaying in Kerikeri we wondered why we kept going back to Auckland,” he says. “Then suddenly we realised we didn’t have to. So we bought a house and a patch of land and we’ve been here ever since.”
David was an MP for the Green Party from 2009 to 2017, including time as the party’s senior whip. “Organising a bunch of Green MPs is a bit like herding cats, so I thought I was well qualified to chair VKK,” says David.
Before becoming an MP David spent 12 years as an academic, teaching politics and resource management. Having previously owned and operated two of Auckland’s first whole foods stores, he is also familiar with the challenges facing small businesses.
“Vision Kerikeri exists, in part, to try to overcome the lack of planning that has plagued this town for many years,” he says. “I hope to keep the organisation at the forefront of advocating on behalf of the community and its aspirations for well-managed development.
“It’s important that the town’s continued development doesn’t come at the cost of the social and environmental qualities that attracted us all here in the first place.”