Napier welcomes new councillors on board

By Victoria White

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Napier's new City Councillors are sworn in at the MTG Theatre yesterday. Photo / Paul Taylor
Napier's new City Councillors are sworn in at the MTG Theatre yesterday. Photo / Paul Taylor

The first triennial Napier City Council meeting was held last night, where Napier's MTG Century Theatre was filled with friends, family and supporters of those elected in last month's local body elections.

After opening the meeting, council chief executive Wayne Jack inducted unopposed Bill Dalton to the "honourable and dignified role" of Napier City mayor for a second term.

Donning the mayoral chains, Mr Dalton then witnessed the induction of seven returning, and four new Napier City councillors.

Apologies were given for the absence of at-large councillor Tony Jeffery.

This will be the first term for Ahuriri councillor Larry Dallimore, Nelson Park councillor Apiata Tapine, and at-large councillor Claire Hague, with former Taradale councillor Tania Wright returning to her long-held seat.

They will join re-elected councillors Maxine Boag, Annette Brosnan, Graeme Taylor, Kirsten Wise, Mr Jeffrey, Richard McGrath, Faye White, and Keith Price.

Following public concern before the election, the declaration signed by elected members last night stated they would perform in the best interests of Napier City - rather than Napier City Council as stipulated in the candidate handbook.

As well as swearing in the new councillors, acknowledgements were given for those retiring - who Mr Dalton said he could not speak highly enough of - Mark Hamilton, Michelle Pyke, and the long-serving Mark Herbert.

At-large councillor Roy Sye, who resigned in June to take up a role with the Ministry of Education, was also acknowledged.

Loud applause greeted Ms Pyke, as she took to the stage, saying the six years she had spent as an at-large councillor had been "absolutely awesome".

"[In] the six years I think I have contributed positively, at least that's what I'm hoping," she said.

"But I'd also like to mention that for the colleagues I've worked with in the last three years particularly, and you very much so [Mr Dalton], it has been the worst and the best of my life," she said.

"The best has been on council, the worst as you all know, I'm still here today, so thank you all very much for helping me get here."

In his speech, Mr Dalton said he could see no reason why the new council would not be as "unified and harmonious" as the last.

While this was the first meeting, work had already begun on what the council wanted to achieve this term.

As well as continuing to focus on infrastructure to ensure it met future needs of growth, Mr Dalton said they would also work to maintain council's enviable financial state, their support of tourism events, and ensure the city and regional continued on a roll of economic growth.

"[Napier] is the best city in world in which to live, work, and play, and we will do our best to continue to live up to expectations of our residents, and ratepayers."

He reappointed at-large councillor Ms White to the role of deputy mayor.

As well as other council processes, the appointments of members to roles of responsibility was discussed. As the council was going through realignment, the number of committees had been reduced from six to four.

More details on these appointments would be considered at the first council meeting - scheduled for December 14.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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