Former councillor back at the helm

By John Maslin

1 comment

Long-serving Whanganui district councillor Sue Westwood along with Martin Visser may have retired from local body politics but they will both have a seat at a committee level.

Announcing appointments to a number of committees this week, Mayor Hamish McDouall said Mrs Westwood will retain the position of chair of the audit and risk committee.

Mr Visser retains his seat on the Pakaitore Historic Reserves Board but will be joined by Ross Fallen, one of the unsuccessful candidates in last month's elections.

Mrs Westwood chaired audit and risk in the previous administration and Mr McDouall said she brought a wealth of experience to one of the council's most vital committees.

The audit and risk committee, which usually meets quarterly, has a degree of independence from council and management and is made up of both elected and non-elected members.

Its role is to monitor the council's financial and non-financial risks and Local Government NZ says its members should "not be afraid to ask the tough questions".

Local accountant Rex McKinnon has also been re-appointed while the council representatives include Kate Joblin, Jenny Duncan and David Bennett.

Key areas for this committee include monitoring financial reporting, risk management, external and internal audits and ensuring council complies with laws, regulations and standards.

Mr McDouall said he would be discussing other major committee appointments with councillors in the coming weeks.

In the previous council, individual councillors were given "portfolio" responsibilities which effectively replaced the historic committee structure but the mayor said he would be returning to that set-up.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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