Cr Tim Mepham

Councillor - Dunedin Constituency


Tel  021 999 828  


Tim Mepham in paddock

A long-time resident of Dunedin, first-term councillor Tim Mepham is a keen angler and reluctant gardener. “My wife just uses me as brute force in the garden.”

Having spent a lot of time on rivers in Otago, our region’s river health is hugely important to him. In cicada fishing season for trout, you’ll find him fishing with his son up in the tussock lakes, in places like Loganburn Dam. “I catch them, but I’m not hugely successful,” he says. If he does strike it lucky, the trout will go into the smoker or be filleted and covered in breadcrumbs. Trout are an introduced species known to eat native galaxiids, small migratory freshwater fish.
“Which is why I’m trying to remove them one at a time from our rivers and lakes.”

Tim learnt to fish on the Kakanui river. In the 2000s, the river suffered algae blooms, didymo and low flows because of human activity in the area, and this was a wake-up call for him that the environment needed championing. “I thought, ‘I can’t criticise if I’m not prepared to have a go myself,’” he says.

Educated at Otago University, he graduated with a BCom in accountancy and then qualified as a chartered accountant; however, this was far from the highlight of his education: he met wife Sue at university; they married while they were both still studying and have been together for 40 years now. They have three boys, all of whom work in fields that are somehow immersed in the community: a minister, a social worker and a schoolteacher.

Tim is a long-standing member of the Flagstaff Community Church and the church’s community choir. “I sing because I have no choice,” he says, “Sue is the choirmaster.”

How do we get the public singing from the same song sheet? “It’s all about our communication. A lot of people have no idea what a regional council actually does —we need to change that.”

Accounting has always been a language Tim speaks. He has worked as a corporate accountant and CFO for Fisher and Paykel, Southern Cross Forest Products, Natural History New Zealand and Blis Technologies. Moving into governance roles on boards such as Presbyterian Support Otago and City Forests, he is also a trustee of the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. During his time on the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust, he experienced habitat restoration work which showed that you can actually turn things around. And just the same, the health of our rivers can be managed by river flow setting. Which is why ORC’s new Land and Water Plan, due to be delivered at the end of this year, is one of his main priorities. “Our environmental responsibilities deserve more focus,” he says.

A runner, he thinks he must hold the record for regularly running Ross Creek every Sunday afternoon, which he has been doing for 30 years now with a friend. He also likes to paint and has exhibited his work.

Tim also has business interests in the off-grid renewable energy sector in a company that initially designed and developed a wind turbine for domestic use. This has progressed into a product they call the PowerCrate that combines the turbine, solar panels, and battery management systems. One unit will generate electricity for a variety of applications ranging from domestic power to digital communication sites and uses in the agriculture sector.

Page last updated 21 June 2024.