Raucous exit for council

By Annette Lambly

A resignation, theatrics and threats were all part of Kaipara District Council's last meeting, before elected councillors are replaced with independent commissioners.

Yesterday, councillors and staff were subjected to jeers, sneers and sometimes abusive and personal comments from around 70 people, who pulled out all stops to verbalise their feelings about the council.

Chaired by Deputy Mayor, Julie Geange in the absence of Mayor Neil Tiller who is hospitalised with multiple leg fractures, Councillor Jonathan Larsen took the opportunity to resign - effective immediately - after reading publicly a statement written to Mr Tiller, which he later tabled.

Told by Ms Geange standing orders did not allow him to read his statement, he proceeded regardlessly, his comments receiving applause and a standing ovation from the gallery when he departed the chambers.

Representatives from Audit New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs and the review team chairman, Greg Gent, were present and consulted with during the meeting.

Up for adoption was the 2010/11 Annual report and the Long Term Plan. Both were debated at length, in particular whether council was an ongoing concern and the possible legal ramifications.

The council voted to adopt both the Annual Report 2010/11 and LTP. Councillor Wayne Linton voting against both resolutions and Cr Geange abstaining.

The decision did not please those gathered with legal action against the council being threatened.

The release of the Review Teams report to the Minister of Local Government was expected to be released late yesterday.

The Auditor general's inquiry is still in progress.

- Northern Advocate

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