Dale steps down from commissioner role

By Mike Barrington

Colin Dale has stepped down from his commissioner role.
Colin Dale has stepped down from his commissioner role.

Colin Dale has quit as a commissioner for the Kaipara District Council to concentrate on his acting chief executive role for the Far North District Council.

His resignation was accepted on Wednesday by Associate Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, who has taken charge of the Kaipara commissioners since his local government appointment last month.

The changes were part of a Cabinet reshuffle which included former local government minister Chris Tremain being dropped ahead of his departure from Parliament at the end of the present term.

A parliamentary spokeswoman for Mr Lotu-liga said he would decide whether to replace Mr Dale after receiving advice from officials and a recommendation from Kaipara commissioners' chairman John Robertson.

In 2012 former Local Government Minister David Carter appointed four commissioners - former National MP Mr Robertson, Titoki farmer and former Fonterra director Richard Booth, former Manakau City Council chief executive Mr Dale, and former Auckland Regional Council and Local Government New Zealand chief executive Peter Winder - to help Kaipara resolve its $80 million debt and administration issues.

Mr Dale, 75, was appointed acting CEO for the Far North council last month. Mr Robertson said at the time that Mr Dale worked one or two days a week on his Kaipara duties. "None of us is fulltime," Mr Robertson said, explaining he worked an average of three days a week.

Mr Dale intended holding down both jobs. He told the Northern Advocate he had worked about three days a week for the FNDC when he served as its acting as CEO between September 2008 and May 2009 and he would put at least that amount of time into the job this time around. But on Tuesday Mr Robertson said that Mr Dale's Far North job would take all his time.

Retired lawyer Clive Boonham, whose work helped the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents' Association obtain a High Court judicial review of Kaipara District Council rates, says on his Kaipara Concerns website that Mr Dale had come under intense pressure from ratepayers to quit his Kaipara role. "Accusations were made that he was sucking off the teat of both councils," Mr Boonham says.

Mr Dale had been estimated to be earning about $4250 a week from the two part-time roles.

- Northern Advocate

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