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Paul Hawkes to lead community board for next term

November 2nd, 2013
[by David Armstrong]

Paul Hawkes has been elected unopposed as the new chairman of the Motueka Community Board, replacing board member David Ogilvie who has held the post for the past six years.

At the swearing-in ceremony of the board held yesterday afternoon, Paul (pictured) was nominated by fellow board member Cliff Satherley and seconded by Cr Jack Inglis. There were no other nominations, and David graciously promised his support and wished Paul well for the three-year term to come.

Elected board member Richard Horrell sent an apology for not being able to attend. The three elected councillors for the Motueka ward - Peter Canton, Barry Dowler and Jack Inglis - were accepted onto the board following their endorsement by the council through its CEO Lindsay McKenzie, who chaired the early part of the meeting.

In accepting his election, Paul, who was the deputy chair for the previous term, thanked David for his expression of support. "We have a long history, and we don't always see eye to eye, but we've always worked together to get the right result," he told the meeting.

Congratulating Paul, David said that his six years at the helm have been good but difficult. "The easiest part is the monthly meetings - the real work is after that," he said.

He told Motueka Online he will now be able to spend more time and energy on other projects in which he has been involved, especially work with Keep Motueka Beautiful of which he is chairman.

He also said losing the chairmanship had come as surprise to him, but as no-one had nominated him he had to accept the decision of other members.

The re-elected Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne outlined to the board the challenges that he sees the council facing this term, with support from community boards. These include:

  • Local issues, which arise for all parts of the district, including but not only Motueka.
  • National issues and tasks imposed on local governments by central government.
  • South Island issues, mainly focused at present on the South Island Strategic Alliance and its two main projects, affordable water quality standards and transport issues around roads of national significance.
  • Keeping rates and the reliance on debt as low as possible.
  • The Lee Valley dam.
  • The Great Taste trail completion.

One local issue the new board has already begun looking at is improving the way it communicates and converses with residents through the public forum before each monthly meeting.

It was agreed that the standing orders, which limit the time for members of the public to speak and forbid board members from replying, was proving unsatisfactory in certain situations and causing some on-going anger.

Paul said he intended to "come down hard" on those breaking those rules during official board meetings, but the board should at the same time look for a way, through some other "unofficial" public forum, to allow more interactive discussion of issues and grievances.

The new board also said they would look at whether the official meetings could be held six-weekly rather than monthly, and/or start at an earlier time, even 1pm.

David said his experience was that in the last hour of board meetings that began at 4.30pm and often went on for two hours or more, everyone was getting tired after a day's work and poor and ill-considered decisions tended to be made. Also, an earlier time would allow council staff to attend and discuss issues.

The deputy chairman of the board will be elected at the next monthly meeting, to be held on Tuesday November 12th, when all four elected members of the board should be present.

The 2013-2016 Motueka Community Board: Cr Peter Canton, Cr Barry Dowler, Cliff Satherley,
Cr Jack Inglis, (seated) Paul Hawkes, David Ogilvie. (Absent: Richard Horrell)


Comment by Linda Woodgate:
[Posted 3 November 2013]

I thought we as the community voted who we wanted on the board and the person with the highest amount of votes (in this case David) would be the chairman as logic tells me that is what the community wanted. How do newly elected councillors make that decision for us when the decision was already made by the community? Plus the community board is our voice to the councillors not the other way round. I am sure someone will enlighten me of the rules, which may need to be changed.

Comment by William Cleaver:
[Posted 11 November 2013]

I certainly did not vote for a newly elected chairman. I would have thought that there would have been a due course vote on that matter other than voting for a community board. If this was done on a ship we would have a mutiny.

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