Secret ballot for committee chair positions

Gisborne District Council holds secret ballots to decide who will chair two key committees.

Gisborne District Council holds secret ballots to decide who will chair two key committees.

FOR the first time in its 27-year history, Gisborne District Council has held secret ballots to decide who will chair two key committees.

Sitting chairman Andy Cranston was re-elected to head the community development committee of Gisborne District Council, while Bill Burdett was elected chairman of the regional transport committee.

Larry Foster, the second-highest polling city ward candidate at the elections, was a defeated candidate in both ballots.

Both he and a third candidate for the regional transport role Meredith Akuhata-Brown made a strong case for election, with Ms Akuhata-Brown saying her time had come.

Mr Cranston and Mr Foster contested the community development role after Ms Akuhata-Brown withdrew.

Candidates were given three minutes to put their case before the ballots were counted.

Mr Cranston said for some time he felt he had been walking around with a target on his back.

He was not impressed that the Gisborne Herald editor chose his name as one to be undermined in the election process. He was also not sure why others were chosen for exceptional promotion.

The undermining was done without a clear understanding and appreciation of his work ethic as councillor and chairman.

“I believe I have been unfairly treated in this process,” he said.

The chairman positions should be decided on who was best for the job. It was not about the election result or having turns.

He was not looking to merely stretch his legs under the table. He expected there would be a resetting and reinvigorating. There were a number of projects in mid-process. He would be at the coalface to make them happen.

“I should be appointed chair of community development because I am the best person for the job,” he said.

Succession planning

Larry Foster said succession planning was important. Without it there would be stagnation, lack of enthusiasm and protectionism. The council did not cater for or encourage succession planning.

He had a proven 100 percent attendance record for the previous three years, during which he was deputy chairman.

The gap between governance and management had become too great. The council needed a much closer engagement with council management and all the community.

Mr Foster called for a closer relationship with Activate Tairawhiti, the Chamber of Commerce, Heart of Gisborne and Tourism Eastland.

He would encourage “mobile” meetings, interact more with iwi, encourage a sound relationship with city developers and encourage a review of the whole delivery and funding of the Crime Prevention Camera Trust.

“I envisage a very busy exciting time ahead for the community development and services committee. I can’t wait to get started.”

After the two men had spoken, Karen Fenn moved that the vote be held anonymously and this was carried for both elections.

Regional transport committee

Bill Burdett said it was important that whoever chaired the regional transport committee had a widespread knowledge of the roading network, which was crucial to the district. He had spent many years working to improve the roads throughout the district. It had been a passion.

“Our network is so important to us. It takes time to learn it. You want to know what you are doing if you are going to take the job on.”

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she realised what a huge challenge this was, having sat on the committee for the past three years.

The reason she put her name forward was that she believed it was time for succession. She had learned a great deal about the region.

“I feel that this is just simply my time to show that I am committed to the role as a councillor.”

It had been suggested that she step up.

She described herself as a communicator and a community activator.

“I am passionate about this network because it has a huge impact on our whole region.

“I am not somebody who is prepared to do the role because it seems like a fun thing to do. It is actually business, it is hard work and I come to it with a passion that is vibrant, like my hair.”

Challenges

Regional transport had huge challenges but she was prepared to take them on and was the best person for the job, she said.

For the other major committee chair positions, Graeme Thomson (infrastructure services), Pat Seymour (environmental planning and regulations) and Brian Wilson (finance and audit) were re-elected unopposed.

After the meeting Mr Foster said he was disappointed at the decisions.

He had been a member of both committees for three years and was deputy chairman of community development, on which he also served when he was previously on the council.

He had worked really hard on both committees.

He still believed that succession planning was very important for the organisation.

Told during the debate that his turn would come, Mr Foster quipped “I could be dead by then.”

FOR the first time in its 27-year history, Gisborne District Council has held secret ballots to decide who will chair two key committees.

Sitting chairman Andy Cranston was re-elected to head the community development committee of Gisborne District Council, while Bill Burdett was elected chairman of the regional transport committee.

Larry Foster, the second-highest polling city ward candidate at the elections, was a defeated candidate in both ballots.

Both he and a third candidate for the regional transport role Meredith Akuhata-Brown made a strong case for election, with Ms Akuhata-Brown saying her time had come.

Mr Cranston and Mr Foster contested the community development role after Ms Akuhata-Brown withdrew.

Candidates were given three minutes to put their case before the ballots were counted.

Mr Cranston said for some time he felt he had been walking around with a target on his back.

He was not impressed that the Gisborne Herald editor chose his name as one to be undermined in the election process. He was also not sure why others were chosen for exceptional promotion.

The undermining was done without a clear understanding and appreciation of his work ethic as councillor and chairman.

“I believe I have been unfairly treated in this process,” he said.

The chairman positions should be decided on who was best for the job. It was not about the election result or having turns.

He was not looking to merely stretch his legs under the table. He expected there would be a resetting and reinvigorating. There were a number of projects in mid-process. He would be at the coalface to make them happen.

“I should be appointed chair of community development because I am the best person for the job,” he said.

Succession planning

Larry Foster said succession planning was important. Without it there would be stagnation, lack of enthusiasm and protectionism. The council did not cater for or encourage succession planning.

He had a proven 100 percent attendance record for the previous three years, during which he was deputy chairman.

The gap between governance and management had become too great. The council needed a much closer engagement with council management and all the community.

Mr Foster called for a closer relationship with Activate Tairawhiti, the Chamber of Commerce, Heart of Gisborne and Tourism Eastland.

He would encourage “mobile” meetings, interact more with iwi, encourage a sound relationship with city developers and encourage a review of the whole delivery and funding of the Crime Prevention Camera Trust.

“I envisage a very busy exciting time ahead for the community development and services committee. I can’t wait to get started.”

After the two men had spoken, Karen Fenn moved that the vote be held anonymously and this was carried for both elections.

Regional transport committee

Bill Burdett said it was important that whoever chaired the regional transport committee had a widespread knowledge of the roading network, which was crucial to the district. He had spent many years working to improve the roads throughout the district. It had been a passion.

“Our network is so important to us. It takes time to learn it. You want to know what you are doing if you are going to take the job on.”

Meredith Akuhata-Brown said she realised what a huge challenge this was, having sat on the committee for the past three years.

The reason she put her name forward was that she believed it was time for succession. She had learned a great deal about the region.

“I feel that this is just simply my time to show that I am committed to the role as a councillor.”

It had been suggested that she step up.

She described herself as a communicator and a community activator.

“I am passionate about this network because it has a huge impact on our whole region.

“I am not somebody who is prepared to do the role because it seems like a fun thing to do. It is actually business, it is hard work and I come to it with a passion that is vibrant, like my hair.”

Challenges

Regional transport had huge challenges but she was prepared to take them on and was the best person for the job, she said.

For the other major committee chair positions, Graeme Thomson (infrastructure services), Pat Seymour (environmental planning and regulations) and Brian Wilson (finance and audit) were re-elected unopposed.

After the meeting Mr Foster said he was disappointed at the decisions.

He had been a member of both committees for three years and was deputy chairman of community development, on which he also served when he was previously on the council.

He had worked really hard on both committees.

He still believed that succession planning was very important for the organisation.

Told during the debate that his turn would come, Mr Foster quipped “I could be dead by then.”

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Mary-Ann De Kort - 3 years ago
I would hope that our Transport Committee will have knowledge of all modes of transport including roads, rail, shipping and cycling. I hope they will also have open minds regarding green tech and we will see electric charging stations in Gisborne in the near future.
There is also a question about replacing current meters and pay and display with electronic parking monitoring. This will be another expensive cost to ratepayers yet is likely to cost a similar amount for those parking in the cbd.

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