Acting Mayor versus being actual Mayor

LETTER

A small but important point to note, with local body elections coming up.

While the council may have chosen Deputy Mayor Rehette Stolz to fill the mayoral position in the time remaining, as per the requirements of the Electoral Act, she cannot be called the new mayor.

I believe the correct title is Acting Mayor.

In this electorate, the mayor is a publicly elected position, not chosen within the ranks of council.

We would not want to assume the local body election is a foregone conclusion, or predetermined, would we?

Roger Handford

Footnote from Ed: The council has made clear that Rehette Stoltz will become the Mayor on August 22, not Acting Mayor.

A small but important point to note, with local body elections coming up.

While the council may have chosen Deputy Mayor Rehette Stolz to fill the mayoral position in the time remaining, as per the requirements of the Electoral Act, she cannot be called the new mayor.

I believe the correct title is Acting Mayor.

In this electorate, the mayor is a publicly elected position, not chosen within the ranks of council.

We would not want to assume the local body election is a foregone conclusion, or predetermined, would we?

Roger Handford

Footnote from Ed: The council has made clear that Rehette Stoltz will become the Mayor on August 22, not Acting Mayor.

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Thelma Karaitiana - 3 months ago
I am bewildered by the current council and their lack of clarity. Dave Cull, the president of Local Government NZ, says local democracy drives strong and diverse communities. It builds local and national success, confidence and character. Dave goes on to say that Mayors are directly elected by voters in our territorial authorities. Mr. Editor it's a presumption to think there is any clear-sightedness present among the current councillors. That the council states Rehette Stoltz is the Mayor is undemocratic and I suggest an attempt to influence voting. I agree with Mr Handford's previous article that Acting Mayor is her title, albeit a temporary title until a democratic election is held and a real mayor is elected. That the council is influencing pubic opinion by suggesting she is Mayor is a most undemocratic presumption that will come back to bite them and the temporary Mayor's backside.

P.J. Corrin - 3 months ago
I too am bewilded at the council being able to elect a mayor. Surely this is undemocratic. Were all councillors in agreement on this? If not, a division should have been called. We don't seem to get council meetings reported in the press as they once were, this may then give us an inkling of the way councillors vote. At the moment we get the impression that a lot of matters are being passed without debate. I and a lot of us still believe that a mayor should only be elected to office by public vote. I mean no disrespect to Rehette Stoltz but until, if, or when she is publicly elected to mayor to me she will remain deputy mayor.

Karl - 3 months ago
117 (5) of the Local Electoral Act 2001

Despite subsection (3), if the vacancy is for the office of mayor, the vacancy must not be left unfilled but must be filled by appointment of one of the other members of the local authority as mayor.

Adrian Cutler - 3 months ago
Totally agree Roger and Thelma, Napier council has done this correctly as it currently has an Acting Mayor. What's so special about Rehette Stoltz that our elected councillors apparently decide to ignore established protocols? It might only be a title but there is a democratic principle at stake and that has been totally pushed to one side. Perhaps they feel it justified as a reward for losing the puppet strings Meng Foon had her dangling from. Roll on October!

Dana - 3 months ago
Totally agree Roger! Rehette Stoltz will surely be the Acting Mayor as she will be be acting as the mayor in the interim until a new mayor is chosen, hence 'Acting Mayor'. Although the wording might seem trivial to some, I think it's important to get it right on matters such as this.

lloyd gretton - 3 months ago
When the mayoral plaque is put up over the council chambers, will Rehette Stoltz's name be listed with an August 2019 date? The issue will no doubt be exploited by lawyers. My guess is there will be included a buried notice at least in English that she was Acting Mayor until next the mayoral election. Also noting the first female Mayor of Gisborne is, to me at least, a tiresome old hat.

Lloyd Gretton, Auckland - 3 months ago
In England, the origins of Mayors, a town charter granted by the Monarch gave the town the position of Mayor who was elected by the aldermen (elders) of the city. Otherwise the local administration was the Sheriff who represented the Monarch. I read somewhere the city of London bought back its charter from the King and got its Mayor back. Karl above made reference to subsection of Electoral Act that declared Council can appoint a Mayor if there is no elected Mayor. This might be the usual Kiwi indifference to protocol or a conspiracy to replace Gisborne with a Sheriff of the corporate State. How many people know that Gisborne in law is now a Crown-administered entity, not a city?

Dean - 3 months ago
Napier's mayor hasn't resigned, he is recovering from a serious health issue, therefore they have an acting mayor, whereas Meng has resigned to take up his new position. And as Karl has said, Despite subsection (3), if the vacancy is for the office of mayor, the vacancy must not be left unfilled but must be filled by appointment of one of the other members of the local authority as mayor.

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