Whakatane Mayor retires from local government

The long time mayor of Whakatane Tony Bonne has announced his intention to step down before the next elections.

Mayor Bonne made the announcement at the Council's annual Over-80's Christmas Morning Tea yesterday.

He says his term won't end until October 2019, but he wanted to give the community ample notice of his intentions.

Mayor Bonne has served in local government for 18 years, 12 of those as Mayor.

He says he's looking forward to spending more time with wife Linda and his family,

and going into the local real estate industry.

Emma Griffiths