Your Councillors

The 2016-19 council took office in October 2016 and will serve a three-year term. They represent the region's four constituencies - Dunedin, Moeraki, Dunstan, and Molyneux. 

Otago Regional Council Councillors


Stephen Woodhead

Chairman, Otago Regional Council
Chairman, Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management Group

Taieri-born and bred, Cr Stephen Woodhead has been a regional councillor for 12 years, including the past six years as chairman and three years as deputy chairman before that. He owns a sheep and beef farm at Milton, and was previously Chairman of Local Government New Zealand’s Regional Sector Group.

His community service has included involvement with the Otago Youth Adventure Trust, Milton Rotary Club, and the Tokomairiro A and P Society.


Gretchen Robertson

Deputy Chairwoman, Otago Regional Council
Chairwoman, Policy Committee

Cr Gretchen Robertson has been an Otago regional councillor for the past 12 years, and Deputy Chairwoman for the past three years. She is an experienced hearings commissioner and over the past year has chaired the panel considering the proposed Regional Policy Statement. She has a professional background as a water quality scientist and community facilitator.



Dunedin constituency

There are six councillors who represent the Dunedin constituency. Dunedin is comprised of central Dunedin and the Waikoutiti Coast, West Harbour, Otago Peninsula and Saddle Hill community board areas located within the Dunedin City territorial area.

Michael Deaker

Chairman, Communications Committee

Cr Michael Deaker has just completed his fifth term on ORC. He has spent his life working in education and the media, and has had extensive experience in local government in Otago and Southland.


Trevor Kempton

Chairman, Otago Regional Transport Committee

Cr Trevor Kempton is entering his third term on ORC. He previously chaired the council's communications committee, and the Regional Transport Committee, and is also an Resource Management Act hearings commissioner. He is a trustee of Arts Festival Dunedin and Chairman of Engineering Heritage Otago.


Sam Neill

Deputy Chairman, Regulatory Committee
Chairman, Objections Committee

Cr Sam Neill has farmed most of his working life and been involved in transport and tourism. He helped set up the Otago Peninsula Community Board and was its Deputy Chairman for five years. He has had three terms on ORC and is now entering his fourth term.


Andrew Noone

Chairman, Technical Committee
Deputy Chairman, Finance and Corporate Committee

Cr Andrew Noone recently retired from the Dunedin City Council after 18 years as a councillor, gaining a wealth of experience, particularly in the areas of resource management and infrastructure. He has served 24 years on the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board.

A sheep and beef farmer for over 30 years, he is also Chairman of Orokonui Ecosanctuary Ltd, a certified RMA commissioner, and Chairman of Iona Church Restoration Trust.


Bryan Scott

Chairman, Regulatory Committee

Cr Bryan Scott has been an ORC councillor since 2004, is a former Chairman of the council’s technical committees, and is an accredited hearings commissioner.

A project manager and engineer, he has more than 20 years experience managing technical projects in New Zealand and overseas, currently for Cerebos Greggs.


Gretchen Robertson

See Deputy Chairwoman above.


Molyneux constituency

There are two councillors who represent the Molyneux constituency. Molyneux is comprised of the Clutha District territorial area and the Mosgiel-Taieri and Strath-Taieri community board areas located within the Dunedin City territorial area.

Carmen Hope

Deputy Chairwoman, Communications Committee

A qualified drainlayer and farmer from Middlemarch, Cr Hope was a Winston Churchill Fellow, and while employed by the Dunedin City Council as a drainage investigator, she researched drainage practices in rural and urban areas of New Zealand and in the United Kingdom. A newly-elected councillor, she is a member of the board of trustees of Strath Taieri School.


Stephen Woodhead

See Chairman above.


Dunstan constituency

There are three councillors who represent the Dunstan constituency. Dunstan is comprised of the Central Otago District and Queenstown Lakes District territorial areas.

Michael Laws

Deputy Chairman, Policy Committee

Michael Laws is a public relations and advocacy director residing in Cromwell. A former MP, Mayor and DHB board member, Cr Laws has also hosted national TV and radio shows and is a prize-winning writer and columnist. He is married to Cheryl, has five children, and is an active junior sports coach, cyclist and golfer.


Graeme Bell

Deputy Chairman, Otago Regional Transport Committee

Cr Graeme Bell is a former long-serving Central Otago district councillor and trustee of the Central Lakes Trust. Cr Bell is entering his second term on the council, and in his first term was Deputy Chairman of the Otago Land Transport Committee.


Ella Lawton

Deputy Chairwoman, Technical Committee

Ella has a strong background in community leadership. She is a first-term councillor for the Otago Regional Council, lectures with the Otago University MBA programme, and was previously on the Queenstown Lakes District Council. Ella is a qualified Resource Management Act commissioner, has a PhD in resource accounting, a Master’s degree in science and a law degree.

She is an active skier and spear fisher, and can often be spotted rock climbing and mountain biking through Otago’s magnificent wilderness.



Moeraki constituency

There is one councillor who represents the Moeraki constinuency. Moeraki is comprised of the Otago portion of Waitaki District territorial area, being part of the Ahuriri and Corriedale wards, and the entirety of the Oamaru and Waihemo wards.

Doug Brown

Chairman, Finance and Corporate Committee

Cr Doug Brown farms at Maheno and has been involved in many organisations in North Otago such as Young Farmers, Federated Farmers, Maheno Rugby, Union Cricket, and the North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group. He recently retired as a director of Alliance Group and is a trustee of the Waitaki Resource Recovery Trust. He has served as an ORC councillor since 1998


Committees & Membership



Deputy Chair


Policy Cr Robertson Cr Laws All Councillors
Technical Cr Noone Cr Lawton All Councillors
Finance and Corporate Cr Brown Cr Noone All Councillors
Communications Cr Deaker Cr Hope All Councillors
Regulatory Cr Scott Cr Neill All Councillors


Back to top
Online Maps & Data: