A Rotorua Lakes councillor who has missed five meetings so far this term says his attendance was impacted by the "rare time" of the Covid-19 level 4 lockdown and his dual roles as a councillor and businessman.
Councillor Raj Kumar missed five council meetings from October 24 last year - the beginning of the term - to Tuesday.
Of those, he had supplied apologies to the council three times, all of which had been accepted.
The meetings included full council meetings and Operations and Monitoring Committee meetings. Kumar had perfect attendance for Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee meetings.
On Friday, Kumar said a previous report which listed all councillors' attendance rates had caused him concern when he saw his name "in the red".
He said the numbers likely reflected "the lockdown period of Zoom meetings and a very rare time in our lives [when] I was overwhelmed in business and serving the community".
Kumar owns and runs Springfield Superette, an essential business under Covid-19 Alert Level rules and said he believed he had a good attendance record in the previous years he had been a councillor.
"I was totally consumed and did long hours over a sustained period of lockdown. At the end of the day, I wear a store-owner hat, a councillor hat and that of a family."
He said there was a lot of unseen work behind the scenes as well as public meetings.
"It's not seen how many endless meetings and ratepayers' requests I have assisted with but how many meetings I didn't attend because of the need to wear another hat."
Kumar said he took "great pride" in being a councillor for the rohe and put ratepayers' interests at heart.
"I know, though, that if I can't be a good councillor I need to go - the people and the council can decide."
Councillors' attendance records were reported on Wednesday after fellow councillor Tania Tapsell missed six council meetings since the announcement of her candidacy for National in the East Coast electorate on June 6.
Tapsell had submitted apologies for all of those meetings and two were covered by an approved leave of absence.
Councillors Peter Bentley, Trevor Maxwell and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait had been absent from one meeting each, and all had submitted apologies which were accepted.
On Wednesday a Local Government NZ spokesman said councillors could be absent from meetings with an accepted apology or with granted leave.
The spokesman said an issue could arise if the elected member did not give an apology or if the apology was not accepted.
Absentee rules only applied to meetings of the full governance body, he said.