Melanie Tavendale

Mel advocates for community-led development, and empowering communities to find solutions tailored to their needs. She is a third-term Councillor in Waitaki, (two as Deputy Mayor), and was co-opted onto LGNZ National Council as inaugural participant of the governance development programme.

Mel is Deputy Chair of a CCO that runs Oamaru Hospital, focused on improving community health wellbeing. She is also a trustee of the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark, working on protecting sites and improving how the district tells the stories of iconic rock formations and their rich cultural history. The Geopark aims to be the first site in New Zealand recognised as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

The Waitaki District Council is focused on Future for Local Government, leading the conversation on transformational change. Mel’s background in journalism, community relations and partnering with local councils and volunteers groups, attracted her to Council, with particular interest in the wellbeings and local democracy.

LGNZ Melanie Tavendale