The seat on Whangārei District Council vacated by former councillor Stu Bell will remain empty until the local body elections later this year.

Bell resigned as a councillor at the beginning of this month.

At the time he said: "Local government should in my opinion operate with the legislative framework it is bound by and be open, transparent and respectful to view of the communities it serves."

Bell said "too many things" had happened recently, mostly under the cover of confidentiality, that he believed indicated the council had forgotten that.


He said he had for the most part enjoyed the debates with other councillors when making decisions and working with council staff to deliver positive outcomes.

"However, there are increasingly aspects of the way the council has been or is currently operating that are completely at odds with values I hold personally and have lead me to make this decision."

The remaining councillors were presented with two options at a council meeting yesterday - to fill or not to fill the vacancy.

They opted for the latter.

Councillor Cherry Hermon said given the close proximity of the next election and costs involved, she did not see any benefit in filling the position now.

Mayor Sheryl Mai, who was out of the country when Bell resigned, noted the contribution Bell had made during his almost two terms on the council.

In particular she acknowledged "the vigour he introduced to make sure we were doing things correctly" and his "thorough knowledge of the Local Government Act".

"He certainly contributed a huge amount."


Nominations for this year's local body elections open on July 19 and close on August 16. Voting documents will be delivered via mail from September 20-25, with voting closing on October 12.