Westland mayor appoints two deputies

By Lee Scanlon -
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Bruce Smith has appointed Latham Martin and Helen Lash as deputies. Photo / Supplied
Bruce Smith has appointed Latham Martin and Helen Lash as deputies. Photo / Supplied

Westland's new mayor has broken the mould by appointing two deputy mayors.

Bruce Smith has appointed Latham Martin, the highest-polling and only returning councillor, and Helen Lash, who formerly chaired TBfree New Zealand and lived in Whataroa.

Latham, who is just 22, is believed to be the youngest deputy mayor in New Zealand.

Smith said he had spoken to Local Government New Zealand and some other mayors beforehand to confirm there were no rules against appointing two deputy mayors, if required.

"The reason for it, of course, is that from Taramakau to the Gates of Haast is a long way and historically Fox and Franz and Haast have missed out when it's come to representation by a deputy mayor and that's not fair."

Each deputy mayor would receive the annual councillor's salary of $16,600. They would split the difference between their salaries and the deputy mayoral salary ($23,240), giving each a salary of $19,920, Mr Smith said.

Unlike Buller, the mayors in Westland and Grey appointed their deputies. Buller Mayor Garry Howard called for nominations and his councillors unanimously re-elected Graeme Neylon who has been on the council for 24 years.

Grey's deputy mayor is second-term councillor Murray Hay.

- Westport News

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