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Mayor and councillors

Councils are made up of members of the public elected in local authority elections held every three years.

People in a meeting room talking

The Council is led by the mayor, who provides leadership and direction to the council and community, and chairs the meetings. Elected representatives represent and lead the community, setting policy, making decisions in the best interests of their communities.

The Buller District Council consists of 11 elected members, the Mayor and 10 Councillors.

The district is divided into three wards – Seddon (2 elected representatives), Westport (6 elected representatives) and Inangahua (2 elected representatives). The Mayor is elected at large.

Buller District Council elected members

The Local Government Act 2002 requires that all Local Authorities adopt a Code of Conduct.

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to provide guidance on the standards of behaviour that are expected from the Mayor and Elected members of the Buller District Council.

Jamie Cleine - Mayor


Jamie was born and raised in Westport, grew up on the family farm, and attended school in Westport. He completed trade qualifications in Farm Business Management which he has applied to his own farming business for over 20 years. Jamie gained his commercial experience serving as a company director and collected governance experience in the health and aged care sector.

Jamie made the move to local government in 2016 as a councillor for Westport and was elected Mayor in 2019 and 2022.

Jamie’s leadership style is practical and pragmatic where honest and genuine conversations encourage his thoughtful, quality decision-making. He enjoys ongoing professional development and has completed courses in leadership and critical thinking furthering his expertise.

Committees involved

  • Mayor
  • One District Plan (TToPP)
  • Projects in Partnership Group (PIP)
  • 3 Waters
  • Future for Local Government Reforms
  • Westport Rating District Joint Committee
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Group (Joint Committee)




Inangahua Ward

Linda Webb

027 331 2090


Linda grew up on a dairy farm in Reefton and was on the Inangahua Community Board for the last three years.

After completing her BSc degree at Victoria University, she gained her Graduate Diploma in Primary Teaching.

Over the last 12 years of her teaching career, she has worked in large schools in the Hutt Valley and on the Kapiti Coast, before moving back with her family to teach at Sacred Heart School, Reefton.

She is the Across Schools Lead Teacher for the TOSI Schools Kāhui Ako.

Linda loves a good book, adventure racing and helping on the family farm.

Committees involved

  • Inangahua Community Board (ICB)
  • Springs Junction/Maruia Hall Subcommittee
  • Inangahua Junction Hall Subcommittees

Graeme Neylon


Graeme has been dairy farming in the Mai Mai Valley since 1983 and is still actively involved with the farm on a daily basis. He has returned to Council after a three-year break after first being elected in 1992.

Graeme is a trained commissioner under the Resource Management Act and has held a number of council positions during his elected time.

Graeme and his wife have five adult children and seven granddaughters.

Committees involved

  • Chair Regulatory, Hearings and Planning Committee
  • District Licensing Committee (Alcohol Licensing) (DLC)
  • One District Plan (TToPP)
  • Primary Health Organisation (PHO)
  • Inangahua Community Board (ICB)
  • West Coast Health Localities Project
  • Reefton Reserve Subcommittee



Seddon Ward

Rosalie Sampson


Rosalie Sampson has lived in Karamea for about 48 years. During this time she and her husband operated their dairy farm in Karamea. While still owning the farm, they built and operated a local motel.

Rosalie has been on Council for eight terms. She was Deputy Mayor for two and chairperson of Community, Environment and Services Committee for four terms. In 2002 Rosalie co-founded the Oparara Valley Trust and has been the chairperson from then till today. The Trust successfully completed a project in the Oparara, building new toilets, shelter, and tracks.

Rosalie is actively involved in several community groups and in 2009 was awarded an MNZM for services to conservation and community. Karamea is a special place for Rosalie with two of her daughters and their families living in this special part of Buller and having regular get-togethers.

Committees involved

  • Deputy Chair of the Community Environment & Services Committee (CESC)
  • Creative Communities Subcommittee
  • Carnegie Restoration Working Group
  • Regional Housing Forum
  • Karamea Reserve Subcommittee
  • Little Wanganui Reserve and Hall Subcommittee
  • Seddonville Reserve Subcommittee


Toni O'Keefe


Toni has lived in Buller for over 25 years and brings her community involvement and practical strengths to Council. 

Toni’s background lies in primary industry and trades, starting off as an interior plasterer then moving to mining, farming, and small business.

Toni has a passion for her community and has been involved in many community groups from youth work to arts. Currently she is serving as secretary/treasurer at her local fire brigade and as a civil defence coordinator.

Toni’s happy place is with her family and spending any spare time in the garden.

Committees involved

  • Regional Transport Committee (RTC)
  • Ngakawau/Hector Reserve Subcommittee
  • Mōkihinui Reserve Subcommittee
  • Waimangaroa Reserve Committees



Westport Ward

Andrew Basher - Deputy Mayor


Andrew moved with his family to Westport 22 years ago. He has had significant experience in governance, both through involvement in school and his previous time on Council.

Starting his education career over 30 years ago, Andrew held many management and leadership roles both within education and in the wider community. These include several local sport organisations and he is a trustee for Homebuilders West Coast Trust.

Andrew enjoys participating in several sports, with badminton being the favourite at the moment. His three children enrich his life and are an ongoing source of fun. His new grandchild marks the beginning of a new adventurous chapter in his life.

Committees involved

  • Deputy Mayor
  • Chair of Chief Executive Review and Relationship Committee.


Phil Grafton

021 027 83568


Phil has lived in Buller most of his life growing up on a farm.

His working career has exposed him to most aspects of farming, continuously growing his skill set. He has also worked for several years at the local cement works.  In between, Phil owned a local hospitality business, extending his expertise and experience.

Outside of working, Phil enjoys living by the beach and going fishing. You can spot him at rugby matches where he helps out as a local rugby referee.

Committees involved

  • Projects in Partnership Group (PIP)


Annelise Pfahlert


Annelise moved to Buller three years ago and fell in love with the West Coast lifestyle. 

Studying a Bachelor of Pharmacy opened up the opportunity to work in hospital and community environments in both Hokitika and Greymouth, before taking up a role as a pharmacist in Buller. 

Annelise is passionate about providing equitable and patient-centred care in her community. 

Due to her public role, she communicates with members of the community daily, whilst demonstrating effective time management, confidentiality and empathy.

Annelise particularly enjoys the outdoors, making the most of fishing, hiking and gardening.

Committees involved

  • Youth Development as a member of CESC
  • Creative Communities Subcommittee

Joanne Howard


Jo has lived in Buller for over 40 years. She has a retail and managerial background. Combined with a Bachelor of Business, a Certificate in Project Management, and her involvement in many businesses and community groups, she brings a broad range of practical skills, experience and knowledge to the table.

Jo has been on Council for the 2019 term and stepped up to a second term on Council in 2022.  She loves working with communities, addressing complex problems, and developing strategies. 

She is interested in the economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects along with opportunities of betterment for Buller and its people. 

When not volunteering, Jo loves spending time in her vegetable garden, being creative and keeping in touch with family.

Committees involved

  • Chair of the Community, Environment & Services Committee
  • Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project Group
  • Westport Rating District Joint Committee 
  • Social Hub Feasibility Working Group
  • Reserve Representative for One District Plan (TToPP)


Grant Weston


Grant is a second term Councillor, who is passionate about the place he has always called home. Born and bred fourth generation, his children are the fifth. 

Grant’s mother’s family has deep connections to Denniston, and the Westport area.

Grant brings objectivity and teamwork to the council table, and certainly values his ability to get on with people, and to listen. He enjoys anything outdoors including mountain running, tramping, and hunting. 

Grant always volunteers his time to help events run smoothly and can take on leadership roles. 

Committees involved

  • Carters Beach Reserve and Hall Subcommittees 
  • Omau Reserve Subcommittee
  • West Coast Road Safety Coordinating Committee


Colin Reidy


Colin moved to Westport in 2013 due to an employment opportunity. When the occasion arrived, he decided to retire in the district.

With over 40 years accounting experience in the private and public sectors, 20 years of which was as a private contractor, Colin uses now his expertise on behalf of the Buller community as a Councillor. 

As an accountant, ethics have played a big part in his profession and the institutions he was part of. In his spare time, Colin likes to chill, and spend quality time with his wife.

Committees involved

  • Westport Rating District Joint Committee



Non-elected Maori Portfolio Councillor

Code of Conduct

The Local Government Act 2002 requires that all Local Authorities adopt a Code of Conduct. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to provide guidance on the standards of behaviour that are expected from the Mayor and Elected members of the Buller District Council.