Still a full daily agenda for retired Raglan councillor

Clint Baddeley thought he’d take this summer off now that his 12-year stint as Raglan ward councillor had come to an end. Fat chance.

As he puts it, “things have a tendency to happen”. If someone needs someone to support them in a situation then “I do that”, he explains a little cryptically of why his holiday break hasn’t turned out quite as planned.

The Raglan resident of 45 years may have stepped away from local body politics ahead of last October’s triennial elections, but he points out that “I’ve always had three or four things on the go”.

One of those roles is as a public and private advocate, work he’s undertaken for 12 years now but which – he says – he is reshaping into more of a mentoring role for “people who need support, predominantly in Hamilton”.

Currently Clint’s also serving as the new chairman of Community Waikato – an organisation which supports voluntary groups in the community – and organising competitions to promote apprenticeships as a board member of WorldSkills New Zealand.

All three roles must be fitted around his ongoing work at home as caregiver to his wife, Jackie, who’s not well. “That’s my main role – I juggle everything around that.”

In lighter vein, Clint talks of how he is also the self-appointed safety manager at Raglan Roast. His regular morning walk invariably ends up in Volcom Lane just as the popular coffee hangout is opening up for the day, and of course there’s a door that needs checking to ensure it isn’t a health and safety hazard.

As chairman of Community Waikato, a “new challenge” he took up last October, Clint drives into the organisation’s Victoria St offices as required. “There’s no set time, it just depends,” he says of his work overseeing advice to community groups in areas such as preparing funding applications and getting their constitutions right.

Community Waikato is funded by Trust Waikato, of which Clint was a trustee for eight years and chairman – a Government-appointed position – for 1½ years.

Clint was appointed in 2015 to the board of WorldSkills New Zealand by another body he’s long been associated with, Wintec. He was on the Wintec board for 18 years, and deputy chair there for a decade, and admits it “blew me away” when the tertiary education provider awarded him an honorary fellowship recently.

He finds his WorldSkills role helping New Zealand tradespeople compete at regional, national and then world level “very satisfying”.

In contrast, Clint says he’d “had enough” by the end of his longtime Raglan ward councillor role. He reveals the multiple wastewater overflows in Raglan last year were a major catalyst in his decision not to stand for a fifth three-year term. “Local issues can get quite tedious and I’m not a believer in people staying in positions forever.”

Clint, in putting family considerations first, jokes that John Key “followed my lead” in stepping down as prime minister recently.

While serving on council doesn’t quite foot it with serving the country, Clint did have a term as Waikato district’s deputy mayor (before taking a tilt at the mayoralty, arguably a mission impossible for a Raglan candidate) and chaired the council’s powerful finance and strategy committee during his last two terms.

Achievements locally he feels proud of include how the Raglan wharf rose from the ashes (“I always wanted it maintained as a working wharf”), the establishment of the new museum/information centre and securing sole provider status for Xtreme Zero Waste during the past year or so.

Although much of his work now has a focus outside of Raglan, Clint remains a familiar face around town and also often takes a beach walk during the day. And, he says proudly, he’s the longest serving Raglan DJ (hosting an Americana music show on Raglan Community Radio, from 10am to 12.30pm on Sundays).

Clint reckons he’ll never retire – it’d be too boring. “I’ll keep doing whatever I want when I can … I’ve always only been motivated by helping people.”

Edith Symes