Tararua District mayor Roly Ellis has done his "dough" in a fundraising scheme after an Eketahuna business woman's enterprise went belly up.

But Mr Ellis wasn't the only one around the council table to see their contribution disappear. Councillor Shirley Hull said she'd also purchased the tiles which were selling for $20.

"I don't think all the fundraising money was going through there [Eketahuna Inn Family Restaurant and Bar] thank goodness," she told the Dannevirke News.

But it was still a bitter pill to swallow for those who had bought tiles at the Inn.


"So my money went down the drain?" Mr Ellis asked at last week's council meeting.

Council's governance manager, Richard Taylor confirmed the loss.

"There was an issue with the hotel and the money has disappeared," he said.

The fundraising project involved the sale of tiles some of which were being sold through the Eketahuna Inn formerly operated by Laura Aldworth. The tiles will form a mural of the town designed by local artist Mark Dimock for Eketahuna's main street upgrade.

However, financial problems which resulted in Mrs Aldworth's leaving the business owing money, has meant no money will be received by the community for those tiles sold through the Eketahuna Inn during her time there.

"It was blimmin unfortunate and disappointing, but we can't get blood from a stone," Charlie Death, chairman of the Eketahuna Community Board told the Dannevirke News.

Mr Death said his organisation thought they were doing a good thing allowing Mrs Aldworth to collect money for the tiles.

"At least not all the fundraising money had gone through there," he said.

The Eketahuna Inn Family Restaurant and Bar opened with great fanfare in September last year with Mrs Aldworth as lessee, director and head chef and Mr Ellis cutting the ribbon at the opening.

However, in October, police were called to calm a heated dispute between Mrs Aldworth and staff and contractors who claimed they'd been left unpaid.

Within days the owner of the premises had reclaimed the business which is now running under new management.