Minister of Local Government Anne Tolley appears unlikely to intervene in Horowhenua's deputy mayor stoush, despite Mayor Michael Feyen wanting government input.

Mr Feyen has said he wrote to Mrs Tolley "urgently" last month. He wanted clarity around legislation that enabled him to choose a deputy mayor and councillors to vote off his choice.

Last month, Mr Feyen was unsuccessful in an attempt to have councillor Ross Campbell reinstated as deputy mayor, with council staff saying legal advice indicated the mayor did not have that power. It was the second time he had attempted the move since councillors voted Mr Campbell off in December.

Mr Feyen has said he would regard Mr Campbell as his deputy anyway. Councillor Wayne Bishop is the deputy mayor.


Following a query from the Horowhenua Chronicle, Mrs Tolley said all councils faced challenges from time to time, and the local government framework provided mechanisms to deal with them.

This included councils receiving support and advice from Local Government New Zealand should they require it, she said

"It's important to remember that councils are independent and accountable first and foremost to their communities. It's for this reason there is a high threshold for ministerial intervention under the Local Government Act."

Meanwhile, Mrs Tolley was due to visit Horowhenua yesterday with local MP Nathan Guy.

The minister's office said the visit was part of a number of regional visits by the minister, combining her Local Government, Children and Social Development portfolios, and had been planned with the local MP for a while.

Her schedule included meeting with the mayor and councillors, as she did on visits to other districts.

On Monday, Mr Feyen said he was looking forward to meeting Mrs Tolley.

"I'm definitely pleased she is taking the time [to visit] and I am looking forward to having a conversation with someone I have never met in person before. I'm going to aim for a good start. Good on her for coming over."