Two Hastings District councillors have attended almost every council and committee meeting over the last term, clocking up a 97 per cent attendance rate each.

John Roil and Simon Nixon both attended 95 out of 98 meetings in the current term, as listed in information supplied by the Hastings District Council from the beginning of this term until August 18.

They were followed closely by Wayne Bradshaw and Sandra Hazlehurst who were at 94 of the meetings and Kevin Watkins who was present at 93.

Tipping the scales the other way, Mick Lester and Henare O'Keefe recorded the most absences, with Mr Lester attending 76 meetings (77 per cent of the total) and Mr O'Keefe 79 (81 per cent).


Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said the council had no rules regarding minimum attendance, apart from if a councillor missed three consecutive meetings without tabling an apology.

"If that happens the rules say you can be removed, but nobody has breached that rule. I'm generally happy with councillor attendance, and with the reasons for their absence."

Mr Lester, who is not standing for election this year, strongly objected to any inference he did not pull his weight in terms of meeting attendance, noting that in addition to council meetings he attended many workshops and was also on the New Zealand Community Boards executive committee.

"I also chaired 64 days of hearings on the 10-year review of the district plan - and as chair I was there for all but three days, and we did not get paid full days for that."

Mr O'Keefe said that a hip operation had prevented him from attending a number of meetings, as did his work in the community.

"I have a lot of the meetings and the Flaxmere Boxing Academy has taken up a lot of my time.

"This year I have also been really inundated with a lot of community matters that are intrinsically linked with what I do in council," Mr O'Keefe said.

"I'm a councillor for a high-needs suburb, it's just the way it is, and I have never known the demands on my time that I have had over the past year in terms of social issues such as family violence and poverty. Lawrence has always accepted this and that I need to make sure I am serving the people as I should be."

Mr Yule, who is often criticised for the amount of time he spends away from Hastings in his capacity as President of Local Government New Zealand, attended 86 out of the 98 meetings.

At the Hastings District Council there were no rules around councillors attending other functions and events beyond council meetings, but records were kept of attendance at events such as citizenship ceremonies.