An independent review and observation team has been selected to review the nature, extent and causes of the divide between Tauranga City Council's elected members.
Chairman of the independent review and observation team Peter Winder, appointed by Tauranga City Council, has announced the appointment of two team members – Basil Morrison CNZM, JP and Linda Smith CNZM.
The team's role is to review and report on the nature, extent and causes of issues between council elected members, set out an action plan to achieve improved governance performance, and monitor and report on progress to the council and chief executive.
Winder's appointment was confirmed following an extraordinary council meeting on September 2, where he was empowered to select up to two further members who would "contribute to an effective, multi-skilled team".
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"I believe Basil and Linda have an ideal blend of experience and skills to help the review and observer team deliver on its goal of assisting council elected members to address their governance issues," Winder said.
"The Department of Internal affairs has asked that the council provide evidence that it is taking steps to restore trust and confidence in its ability to function as a high-performing council and we look forward to working with all elected members to find a positive way forward."
Basil Morrison brings significant public and private sector governance experience to his new role.
He is a current member of the Waitangi Tribunal and chairman of the New Zealand Local Government Superannuation Board of Trustees.
A past long-serving mayor of the Hauraki District, Morrison was president of Local Government New Zealand from 2000 to 2008. He has also served as chairman of both the Local Government Commission and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
Linda Tuhiwai Te Rina Smith (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) is a professor of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. She has held numerous leadership roles in research and tertiary education facilities.
Her work is internationally recognised and among many honours, she received the Prime Minister's Lifetime Achievement Award for Education in 2017, and the Royal Society of NZ Te Puawaitanga Award for Research Excellence in Te Ao Maori and Indigenous Knowledge in 2018.
Winder said the team's initial focus would be to discuss and decide upon the approach required to deliver on the objectives set out in its terms of reference and then to meet and engage with the mayor and councillors.