Councillor Wally Hayes
Councillor Wally Hayes was first elected to represent the Waikato District Council’s Tamahere Ward in 2007 and is now in his second term after being re-elected unopposed in 2010.
The new term has brought a new role – deputy chairman of the council’s finance and strategy committee.
Wally became a Tamahere resident in 2001, attracted to the area by its quality schools, the space it gave his son, Jackson, a keen trail bike rider, and because of its handy location.
“I also fell in love with my Twin Oaks Drive property. I live in an old homestead with a hectare of garden with some very old and beautiful trees and shrubs.”
To contact Cr Wally Hayes, Phone 07 856 6616 or click here to email him.
Wally stood for council because he felt he could make a difference. So far, with the help of the Tamahere Community Committee, he lists his achievements as halting the sale of the council-owned land adjoining Tamahere School and re-directing the council to facilitate a comprehensive plan for the area with a 50 to 100 year horizon.
“Basically, it’s a growth strategy for most of Tamahere,” he says.
Top of Wally’s priority list now is to protect the country living lifestyle enjoyed by Tamahere residents.
Tamahere is split by highways and his second goal is to connect the different parts of the ward with safe, practical walking and cycling paths.
“I want to create circuits that also connect to both the schools and the city.”
Wally, the oldest of the five children of school teacher parents, Gary and Maureen Hayes, was born in Huntly in 1962.
His father is remembered for playing rugby for Waikato in the 1960s and also four other provinces. A few years ago, Gary retired as principal of Rotokauri Primary School after 20 years.
Wally, educated in the country schools where his parents taught, went to school at Waingake in the hills back of Gisborne, and also to Morrinsville Intermediate and College. He inherited his father’s sports ability, excelling at golf.
He was a scratch golfer at 15 years, playing for Waikato for around eight years in which time he was runner-up in three national age group championships. He was the holder of five course records in four different provinces.
When council commitments allow he is now a social golfer on a four handicap at the Narrow’s Golf Club.
Wally’s wife, Suzanne Van Vugt, died of cancer in 1997, aged 32. Their son, Jackson, attended Tamahere School and now goes to St Peters School.
As well as trail bike riding at every opportunity Jackson plays the guitar and is a keen snow skier.
Wally began working life at the Bank of New Zealand in positions in Morrinsville and Alexandra. Before traveling and working overseas for seven years, mostly in Australia, he also spent a season in charge of the ticket office at Queenstown ski field Coronet Peak
Back from travels, he joined Caltex as Waikato/BoP area manager, helping to set up the Star Mart brand.
He went further into the service station business, owning Caltex Dinsdale and Te Rapa for four years before exiting the industry when it adopted self-service in 2002.
“Customer service was my point of difference until then,” Wally says.
In 2002, he set up an ice manufacturing business on his Tamahere property using the ice machine from Caltex Dinsdale. The business started with three customers but by the time he sold it five years later in 2007 he could count most of the Waikato ice outlets as clients.
Wally was project manager of the 21 lot Tamahere subdivision formed from his own and neighbours’ land and which now constitutes the Bates Rd and Twin Oaks Drive area off Newell Rd.