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Hopper Ousted From Economic Development Committee

The penny has finally dropped, and Leigh Hopper has been asked by the Mayor to step down from the Economic Development Committee. With his business interests in Pauanui an Whitianga it was always a 'pound to a packet of peanuts' that he was in an irresolvable conflict situation.

Leach took the opportunity with a 'public excluded' item at yesterday's Council meeting to remove the anomaly - clearly even he found the situation intolerable, and public comment has ensured that the Committee has achieved very little credibility since its advent.

Hopper has been replaced by Chris Grieve, managing director of Flight Centre (amongst various other roles) who is apparently in the process of stepping back from that role, and who has a house at Opito Bay. Chris has no business interests in the District, and is not therefore in any obvious conflict situation. He obviously brings a great deal of experience to the table in the District's principal industry.

It only remains for Grahame Christian to consider his position - if ever there was a conflict situation, it applies to him, no matter how hard he endeavours to avoid specific instances. It is simply unsound practice to have him in this role. Hopefully it will be resolved before too long.




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Reader Comments (3)

He obviously did not pass the 'sniff' test.
More sunlight is needed on these appointments and the large sums of money they dish out.
The economic development tax [rate] is a rort and has two highly paid [not necessary qualified] staff to help spend the ever increasing pool of ratepayers money

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPied Piper

At last a light has come on in the castle. it is hard to believe that out of all our council and community board members there are so few who understand a conflict of interest.

June 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDIGGER

They put hopper on his chopper just to save face.

One could consider that the arrogance of it just went too far.

However, the withdrawal would have been a deal made among these two notable members of the Whitianga millionaire boys club (leach and hopper) - both of whom would have laughed loud, wondering just how stupid Joe public is (in their minds anyway) to have considered this a victory.

The economic development committee only ever had the equivalent of their beer money as a prize - the real prize was always the process just approved to allow $46 million of developer wastewater debt (a headworks charge in other words) to be transferred to ratepayers.

Why squabble over a few thousand when you have a few 10 million in hand?


July 5, 2015 | Unregistered Commenternuetral observor

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