A publicly-excluded meeting of Horowhenua District Council has resulted in a new committee to control communication between the mayor and chief executive.

Mayor Michael Feyen's meetings with CE David Clapperton are to be limited to weekly or fortnightly, with communication filtered through a new "chief executive relationship committee" chaired by deputy mayor Wayne Bishop, with fellow councillor Victoria Kaye-Simmons taking a role, along with Mr Feyen and Mr Clapperton.

Mr Bishop said he wasn't sure exactly what his role as chair would entail, as they had not yet met.

Mr Feyen said he was "totally opposed" to the formation of the committee, and the way it was done in exclusion from the public. He was continuing to challenge the situation and would still be referring to councillor Ross Campbell as his deputy mayor "until the government tells me otherwise".


Mr Campbell was originally appointed as deputy by Mr Feyen, before being ousted by the nine other councillors, who used a local government legislation loophole, and voted in Mr Bishop to replace him.

Mr Clapperton said he discussed incidental issues with Mr Feyen personally, but formal matters would be discussed via the new committee.

Mr Feyen said his communication with Mr Clapperton to date had not been "uncivil", and he felt the reason councillors had chosen to establish a committee was unnecessary. He felt Mr Bishop had much freer access to the CE than he did.

Mr Bishop said he was led to believe there were other councils in the country who used a similar set-up.