Hello, my name is Mark Greening and I am a Richmond Ward councillor for the Tasman District Council (2013 to 2019).
I am a local boy who grew up in Richmond, played rugby for Waimea Old Boys, and attended the local primary school, intermediate and college.
I hold a Masters of Law degree (LLM) and Bachelor of Arts (BA majoring in Public Policy and Administration). I also hold various management diplomas, and am a certified panel member (obtaining a B+ certification) for resource management hearings up to 2022. I am a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, and am currently a director of Nelson Airport.
I am a former adjudicator and publishing manager. I have over 18 years of business experience working in the private and public sector. I have worked for major multi-national corporations and large public institutions.
I was elected to council in mid-October 2013. I was one of 2 new councillors elected onto a council of 13 councillors and a mayor (that had not changed much, over the last 9 years). In 2016, I was returned to council.
Before I joined council in 2013, rates increases had been averaging around 6% to 7% (in order to support council spending), debt was also forecast to reach $175 million by the end of that financial year, and council was projecting to take debt levels (more spending) up to $300 million within a decade. This was all unsustainable and should never have been approved. I worked to reduce this debt burden and introduce a rates cap.
A little more personal background about myself
I am an immigrant from the United Kingdom, arriving in New Zealand in 1973 (in those days you took a ship, so it was a long journey, passing through South Africa and Australia). My parents have told me that the choice was either the North Hebrides (somewhere north of Scotland?) or New Zealand. I thank my parents every year they chose New Zealand. We initially lived in Whangarei, before moving to Richmond in 1975. I was born in Brighton and grew up for a few fleeting years in New Haven (a small fishing port on the south coast of England). I am half Welsh, half English, and 100% Kiwi. I received my NZ citizenship in Richmond. I spent my formative years in Richmond and moved to Wellington to complete my education. I attended Victoria University and briefly Otago (where I was admitted to the Bar as a lawyer).
I have worked in many industries
I have worked in orchards fruit picking and apple thinning. I have worked in fish factories and have painted houses in Nelson. I have worked in start up companies, major multi-national corporations (Thomson Reuters) and large public institutions (the Office of the Chief Tax Counsel). I have written and edited technical books and written quasi judicial opinions. But there has not been a year that I have not come back to Richmond. This year I returned to Richmond to live so I could spend more time with my parents while continuing to commute to Wellington for work.
Life outside council
When I am not reading council reports, I am a tax author and advisor. I have recently published – Tax Administration Law Made Easy, together with two other books in the series that I have also been involved with – namely, Goods and Services Law Made Easy and Income Tax Law Made Easy. All books can be purchased online from LexisNexis in hardcopy or eBook format.
Community service runs in my blood
My grand father helped establish the ‘New Haven Flake and Ice Co-operative’ to help the local fishers get better prices for their fish (avoiding the price fluctuations that the market delivered as a result of landing bumper catches) and enabling them to have a decent income to feed their families. A lesson in helping businesses, help communities, through co-operation. I have volunteered my time to community law centres. I have volunteered my time to represent people at employment mediation. I have volunteered my services to tenants who have been taken advantage of by landlords who do not know the law (and surprisingly this has included local councils). I have also coached junior football – which is great fun and incredibly rewarding.
What would people say about me?
I am passionate, positive, honest, fair, a hard and tireless worker (with a good sense of humour), and someone you can trust. I probably don’t sufferer fools easily, but I always give people the benefit of the doubt. I care about the health and well being of people and the community they live in. I am a good listener. I am not afraid to speak up and can be pragmatic when the occassion calls for it.
My former customers for over 18 years considered me someone they could trust to do the right thing, and deliver on my promises. I have always aimed to exceed expectations in what ever I set my mind too.
Richmond and Tasman is our environment. We have a beautiful inlet and fantastic green hills surrounding us. A healthy green environment makes people feel good and provides enjoyment and general well being. I deeply care about the environment we call Richmond and Tasman. A place we live, work, and play in 24 hours a day.
Lets make it even better.