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Mayor, TCB and Regional Council

Someone has correctly pointed out that Alison Choppin has only a majority of 7 over Robyn Sinclair with specials still to counted, so her occupancy of that seat is by no means assured. This is the closest majority of any across the Peninsula, so Robyn still has an excellent chance of taking it out later today when they are finally tallied. I am very supportive of Robyn - she is young and a 'go-getter,' and I think she would add some real vigour to the Council, and perhaps be more amenable to change than Alison  who does not appear to have these attributers in abumdance.

I will provide an up date later today, if required, along with the notification of the date of the first meeting if such becomes avaiable. 

Now for the other results as they affect us in Thames:

The re-election of Sandra Goudie as Mayor was almost inevitable even though Len Salt put up a good showing. I hope he 'keeps his powder dry' until the next election because Ii think he has considerable potential to effect the changes that will inevitably be required by that time. The cooling of my enthusiasm for Sandra was entirely down to what I considered to be her stubborn and ill-judged attitude towards 'climate change,' thereby avoiding  the necessary leadership role for our Council to take the necesssary steps towards putting in place practical and effective measures in dealing with its effects.

Otherwise, there can be no doubt that Sandra is an extremely effective 'chair,' who uses her consumate political skills to generally arrive at the decision she desires, but as with many mayors throughout the country, she regularly succumbs to the temptation to hide behind the 'closed doors' of workshops to suppress any suggestion of dissent. Decisions are made, contrary to requirements of the Local Government Meetings Act, and simply returned to the Council agenda as a fait accompli for formal ratification. But she is by no means alone in pursuing this 'loophole.'

Her support in the electorate is strong, and has often been noted, Sandra is adept at cultivating her 'base' - she will 'attend the opening of an envelope' if she deems it worthwhile. Her resulting majority gives her a clear mandate to implement a limited range of policies that she has promoted, but her past 5:4 majority at the table is clearly at risk, and she may have to work harder to achieve all she desires. She clearly has a close relationship with CEO Rob Williams, and this may be tested' in coming months. 

The cleanout at the Community Board provides somewhat of a dilemma in regard to predictions as to the direction it will take, though almost certainly it will elect Strat Peters as its Chair, and he will continue to push for his pet Thames 'renewal' project' - particularly the Town Centre., though he may find some stiff resistance to any suggestion of major expenditure a'la Whitianga. Clr Fox will no doubt breathe 'fire & brimnstone' at any suggestion of 'district' funding of any aspect off this project. They spend so much money planning and designing these projects that there is little left for the actual work in any case. 

Cherie Staples, Sheryll Fitxpatrick and Peter Revell all seem to have secured a similar block of votes, and appear solid citizens who are unlikely to unleash any major surprises on the population, particularly since Sandra intituted policies to 'clip the wings' of boards that had been given wide latitude by Leach. As Chair, Strat will continue to 'sit at the Council table' should he be elected. 

I was a little surprised at the result of the Regional Council election - Denis Tegg will I am sure provide an extremely strong voice at that table, though his 'single-minded' approach may take some time to secure support from the farmer majority who for some time have controlled its decision making process - most notably in regard to weakening enforcement of environment controls over the entire dairy sector that forms thr back-bone of the regional economy.

As readers will be aware, I was always a loyal supporter of Dal Minogue who I believe 'fought the good fight' and secured unexpected support from sceptics around the table who may have been expecetd to oppose his point of view. He was extremely analytical in his approach, and was able to deal with all sides of an argument with patience and aplomb. It was a great pity that the election was tainted by the lies regarding  rate increases in particular promulgated on the air-waves, and in print by his opponent Clyde Graf. Thank-you Dal for a job well done. 

Denis's approach that may not garner support immediately, but I wish him well, and hope that he is able to unify the Council's approach to a range of issues that have been inadequately handled in the past. There has to be clear deliniation of responsibilites for instance as between the district and regional council in regard to 'climate-chnage' issues in particular - it is a total mish-mash as it stands, as exemplified by the coastal protection shambles at the head of the Gulf where protection of farming and urban interests are eye-watering in their complexity.

And 'retreat' has to be on the table at all levels. Neither Council can 'run away' from the issues any longer - time is now 'of the essence,' and further delay will cause real grief in due course. Good luck Denis - you  have the mandate to get the job done.




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Reader Comments (2)

A friend of mine has pointed out to me that TCB newly elected member Cherie Staples is actually Scott Simpsons office manager and therefore presumably employed by the National Party. I don't remember reading any party affiliation by any of the Thames Community Board candidates. Is this a conflict of interests? The particular party involved is less important, but if you are on the payroll of any one of them you would have thought it could be a conflict if asked to represent the community voice in opposition to a particular party line. Any insights?

October 18, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDerek Nicholls

You are correct in your first assumption - she does work for Scott Simpson - a fact that was made 'loud and clear' in Cherie's Candidate Statement.
Further, as such she is employed by Parliamentary Services - not the National Party, so there is therefore no conflict of interest that i can detect. Good try though - it is always good to have daylight on these matters!

October 19, 2019 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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