A new Government appointee to Hawke's Bay Airport will be announced this week, say the mayors of Napier and Hastings.

Bill Dalton and Lawrence Yule issued a joint statement in response to comments by airport services campaigner and Hastings District Council member Simon Nixon, in a Hawke's Bay Today "Talking Point" column published on Saturday.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule

Mr Nixon said local councils should have been told about the new Government appointee to the board.

However, the mayors said as it was a Government representative on the board it was "a Crown process and nothing to do with councils".

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Napier Mayor Bill Dalton
Napier Mayor Bill Dalton

Mr Dalton and Mr Yule were concerned by what they called Cr Nixon's "direct attacks" on the board of Hawke's Bay Airport and "in particular" chairman Tony Porter, who has been absent from some responsibilities due to health issues.

"The board of Hawke's Bay Airport are doing an excellent job and we have full confidence in them," the mayors said.

"Specifically, Tony Porter, despite some health issues, has at all times fulfilled his role as chair diligently as appointed."

They said Crown-appointed director Stuart Webster had relocated to the United States but had continued as a director "using modern communication methods" until March 31.

His resignation had previously been signalled to the Government and the replacement process had been completed, they said.

Mr Nixon said last night he was most concerned that with two of the four board members apparently out of action, the councils, which share ownership of the airport, "should have been told" - even if it was in confidence - especially with a proposal to change the airport's name to Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay, Mr Nixon said.

"I would hate to think that the decision could be made by just two people.

"I wasn't getting at the board or any of its members. I was getting more at the mayors."

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