Mayoral humour brightens meetings

By Don Farmer don.farmer@age.co.nz -
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South Wairarapa district mayor Adrienne Stapes, will not be running as mayor in the 2016 local elections. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER
South Wairarapa district mayor Adrienne Stapes, will not be running as mayor in the 2016 local elections. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

Adrienne Staples has been the longest serving of South Wairarapa's three mayors since the district council came into being in the shake-up of local government in 1989 and has at least one thing in common with both her predecessors -- a wicked sense of humour.

John Garrity, who was the district's first mayor and served two terms, and his successor John Read were both masters of the quip, an attribute that often helped to diffuse testy debates and inject some fun into meetings.

Mrs Staples has followed suit.

Having sat through many years of council meetings, I hold dear two particular occasions that Mrs Staples excelled in stopping debate in its tracks as councillors, press and public tried to recover from her remarks. The first related to a meeting in which councillors were discussing a Greytown Community Board report, more specially the planting of prostrate rosemary at the cemetery.

Mrs Staples was howled down when she referred to the plant as prostate rosemary.

But the daddy of them all was when she interrupted works and services manager Ravi Mangar during his recital of what roadworks had been carried out in April 2009.

Mr Mangar was in full flight describing how the rotational maintenance programme had improved many roads, including gravel roads.

Mrs Staples interjected with: "Well, I hope that applies to Moroa Rd, Mr Mangar, as the last time I travelled it I had to tighten my bra straps afterwards."

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