New figures show meeting attendance rates for Far North District councillors range from a perfect 100 per cent to a lowly 36 per cent — or just over one in every three meetings and workshops.

Some councillors, however, question the validity of the figures, saying they include a large number of workshops with council staff but not other events elected members attend in their own time.

Mayor John Carter and first-term councillor Kelly Stratford were the most reliable attendees at council meetings, committee meetings and workshops over the four months to the end of February with both clocking up a 100 per cent record.

At the other end of the scale, according to the report, Dave Hookway attended 36 per cent, Mate Radich 39 per cent and Sally Macauley 40 per cent.


The other councillors' scores were John Vujcich 94 per cent, Ann Court and Felicity Foy 93 per cent, Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes 86 per cent, and Colin Kitchen 71 per cent.

If their scores are averaged over the eight-month period from July 2018 to February 2019 — giving a better picture of long-term attendance — the results are Kelly Stratford 98 per cent, John Vujcich 93 per cent, Mayor John Carter and Ann Court 92 per cent, Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes 88 per cent, Felicity Foy 85 per cent, Colin Kitchen 81 per cent, Sally Macauley 58 per cent, Dave Hookway 44 per cent, and Mate Radich 39 per cent.

Hookway, however, questioned the figures, saying he had attended as many council and committee meetings as he could.

The figures did not include other meetings he attended, such as those of the council's Disability Action Group, or events he attended during the weekends.

''I think it's a rather spurious way of trying to represent elected members' diligence,'' he said.

Hookway said he had to balance his council role with a full-time job, but that did not mean he was any less committed.

Macauley also disputed the figures, saying she had attended all council and committee meetings, and took part in many community events.

She had missed some workshops because they were called at short notice or clashed with her role as district health board chairwoman.


''Just because you're not at a meeting doesn't mean you're not doing your work. It's not what goes on in the boardroom, it's what goes on outside that matters,'' she said.

Radich said he regularly took part in meetings via video conferencing from Kaitaia to cut travel costs, but that was apparently not counted as attendance.

''What people need to understand is that last year's travelling expenses for the mayor and councillors were $92,000,'' he said.

The attendance report is prepared by council staff for the governance and strategic relationships committee. It covered regular council and committee meetings as well as 10 workshops between November and February which accounted for most of the apologies.

There was also one extraordinary council meeting in that period.