Former Nelson and Tasman Mayor Kerry Marshall has been remembered as a dedicated public servant and visionary leader with a great sense of humour.
Kerry, who died last Tuesday, was a former teacher who made a career in local government, becoming mayor of three territorial authorities: Richmond borough (1986– 1989), Tasman (1989–1998), and Nelson (2007–2010).
Current Nelson mayor Rachel Reese told the Nelson City Council’s environment committee that Kerry’s life was one of service.
“That is a length of service that stands out in local government,” she said.
Marshall was also the Presiding Member of the NZ Lotteries Commission and Chair of the New Zealand Conservation Authority until 2008.
In the 1989 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Kerry was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to local government.
He was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal in 1990, the Sir Jack Newman Award to Nelson’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year awarded by the Rotary Club of Nelson in 1999, and the United States Information Service Study Award to the United States, also in 1999.
“Kerry served as mayor for Nelson City Council between 2007 and 2010, and I learnt so much from him as his supporting deputy mayor during that time.”
Rachel says he was visionary in his approach to climate change, declaring in 2010 that it was time for a disciplined and precautionary approach.
“Kerry also saw the danger of not investing in city centres, launching the Heart of Nelson strategy in 2009 that forms the basis of the work that continues to this day in making sure Nelson has a thriving central city.
“He was, most of all, a man who loved people and the people of this beautiful region most of all, his life was one of incredible service to the people of Nelson.”
Tasman Mayor Tim King says he did all this work with a great sense of humour and was welcomed as an entertaining public speaker wherever he went.
“There is no doubting Kerry’s passion for the region having served on both Nelson and Tasman councils and prior to that with the Richmond Borough Council. Many of the decisions he guided through the respective chambers during this time prepared the area to be one of the country’s fastest growing regions.
“It was important for him that we retained what was special about the region in the face of the inevitable growth we are experiencing now.
“At the heart of all his work was the need to cater for the people he served throughout the Top of the South.”
There will be a memorial service on March 28 at Nelson College at 2pm.