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  • Andrew von Dadelszen

Being elected to Regional Council comes with obligations

I am pretty disappointed with the current performance of our Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Elected members don’t seem to be fully engaged. The number of meetings for Councillors has nearly halved compared with five years ago and this, in itself, is not a bad thing. Councillors are elected (and paid) for their governance skills, and this should not include getting into the engine room of management. However they are meant to insist that management (and the CEO in particular) are accountable to ensure the organisation is run effectively and efficiently.

My beef is that this just isn’t happening, and staff are cruising within a bloated bureaucracy. What is worse is that some Councillors don’t seem to think that they are obligated to attend the few meetings that they are appointed to attend. I went through the minutes of their meetings over the past two years, and noted that while most Councillors had an acceptable record of attendance, one Councillor from our patch was absent from 8 out of the last 15 Full Council meetings; 5 out of 10 Regional Direction & Delivery meetings; and also missed 3 out of the last 6 Public Transport meetings that he was appointed to attend. This isn’t a good look, considering that ratepayers are paying him approximately $60,000 to attend these meetings. Chairman Doug Leeder needs to use his authority to insist on better attendance, as this situation puts all of his elected members in a poor light, and this gentleman, while the worst, is not alone with a poor attendance record.

If you have a view on these or any other local government issues, I invite you to email me at

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