Pair's departure unexplained

By Lawrence Gullery

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More problems appear to be surfacing at the Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce, with up to three board members offering their resignations since December 2012.

It has been confirmed that board members Anna Lorck and Andrew Bayly have resigned from the business organisation. A third board member, Stuart McLaughlan, handed in his resignation but then withdrew it, Hawke's Bay Today understands.

The chamber's president, Katja Williams, confirmed Ms Lorck had resigned last week and Mr Bayly in December but would not elaborate on their sudden departures. Profile pictures of Ms Lorck and Mr Bayly had been removed from the chamber's website pages but Mr McLaughlan's remained.

Ms Williams thanked the two outgoing board members for their work and said their positions would not be replaced by new directors at the next elections. Board members normally decided if they wished to contest their positions again at the chamber's annual meeting in June.

Mr Bayly, a business consultant who operated his own firm called 360, had been on the chamber board for about 18 months but would not say why he resigned.

"I would probably not like to say anything at this time," he said. "I came on to the board to give something back to the community and to be part of helping Hawke's Bay be a better place for business."

Ms Lorck, a director of ATTN! Marketing, would also not disclose why she had resigned from the board so suddenly after serving the organisation for about five years.

"The board-member resignations and reasons for these is for the president to respond to," she said. "But I will confirm that I was not isolated in the concerns I raised before resigning."

Mr McLaughlan, a partner at law firm Langley Twigg, and also the chairman of Business Hawke's Bay, was on holiday and could not be reached for comment.

The unexpected departures are on top of the sudden resignation of Hawke's Bay businessman Gavin Bush, who left the position of chamber CEO in December after being in the job for one month.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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