Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Last council meetings before elections

There are only two Rotorua Lakes Council meetings left before October's elections.
There are only two Rotorua Lakes Council meetings left before October's elections.

The running of the Rotorua district will be in the hands of Rotorua Lakes Council chief executive Geoff Williams for a short time after October's elections.

Just two council meetings - one of the council's Strategy, Policy and Finance committee on August 18 and one full council meeting on August 25 - remain before the end of the current council's three-year term.

The council's Governance and Partnerships manager Oonagh Hopkins said one of Mr Williams' jobs before the election was to oversee the publication of a "pre-election report" that was a legal requirement under the Local Government Act.

"The purpose of a pre-election report is to provide information and promote discussion to ensure candidates and voters are well informed.

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"Geoff Williams' pre-election report provides a snapshot of council's performance, including financial, key milestones achieved during the past three years and future key projects and challenges."

This election was just the second time these reports had been required, Mrs Hopkins said.

"At the final council meeting a paper will go to councillors to delegate decision-making powers to the chief executive, effective from election day, October 8, until the new council is sworn in on October 27.

"For any significant decisions during this time the chief executive could call an extraordinary council meeting and any decisions the chief executive makes during this time will be recorded and reported to the incoming council."

During the election period there were protocols in place for council employees, with the guiding principle being that staff remained politically neutral at all times in their dealings with elected members and the public in general, she said.

"Staff may not take part in political campaigns, council resources may not be used for campaign purposes, council publications must not provide an inappropriate high profile for any current elected member and staff standing for council must ensure no conflicts of interest could develop during, or if elected, after an election campaign."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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