Central Hawke's Bay District Council building department team leader Jock Hyde resigned yesterday, effective immediately.

CHB mayor Peter Butler confirmed Mr Hyde's resignation and said he had left to pursue other opportunities.

The announcement followed concerns raised two weeks ago about an email sent to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment from the CHB District Council accusing councillor Andrew Watts of selling timber that was not verified to the grade required for a shed extension being built by Waipawa residents Sally Maguire and Helmut Hirler in May last year.

These accusations were proven untrue, and the council was forced to back down and settle with Mr Watts and issue the apology.


A gagging order on councillors meant the nature of the settlement was not revealed.
This week a meeting was called to discuss the matter yesterday, when Mr Hyde's resignation was announced.

Councillor and mayoral candidate Sally Butler said it was something of a resolution.

"He has resigned to pursue other fields of interest and I wish him all the best for the future."

Council chief executive John Freeman was unavailable to comment yesterday due to having to attend to personal family business, and other councillors contacted did not want to comment.

The council's building department was subject to a review earlier this year, which found it needed to improve its customer service and, although the BCA performed to a high technical level, it needed to change the way it engaged with customers.

It also found that all parties, not just council members and employees, had a role to play in making positive improvements in the building industry in Central Hawke's Bay as a whole.

As a result of the review, the council is also holding workshops to come up with a risk policy to speed up the building consent process.

Meanwhile, rumours were swirling on Thursday last week that the police had been called to the council chambers in Waipawa to deal with an alleged physical dispute.

The Waipukurau police said they had not received any complaint or call-out, and Mr Butler flatly denied the allegation.

"It's shocking. The person who started that lie wants to be horsewhipped out of Hawke's Bay."