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The Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust is pleased to welcome two new faces in the form of Waitaki district Councillor and Deputy Mayor Melanie Tavendale and former Advisory Trustee Albert Brantley.

Mrs Tavendale is serving her second term as Deputy Mayor and her third on council. Prior to running for Council, she trained as a journalist and ran the Trustpower Community Awards, a nationwide volunteer award programme. She is filling the council-appointed seat on the trust that was left vacant after Councillor Ross McRobie passed away last year. She said: "I have some pretty big shoes to fill, but am looking forward to working with the other Trustees and playing a part in bringing their vision to light. Waitaki has an incredible story to tell, and I feel very passionate about educating our young people about the history hidden in our own back yard and preserving these sites for future generations.”

Mr Brantley, who is a former Chief Executive of Genesis Energy, brings Government and Local Government experience, having been a Director of the Local Government CouncilMark programme and also Chief Executive of Ōtākaro Limited, the Crown-owned company tasked with delivering Christchurch’s post-earthquake anchor projects. Mr Brantley held a similar role with OceanaGold Ltd, which is a Geopark sponsor.

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