If Mayor Dave Cull's second term is destined to be tougher
than his first, then his battle with an unco-operative
mayoral robe may be an early omen.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull battles his way into the mayoral
robe for a second term, helped by Dunedin City Council
chief executive Paul Orders, at yesterday's inaugural
meeting of the new council. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Amid the pomp and ceremony of the inaugural meeting of
the new Dunedin City Council yesterday, Mr Cull engaged in a
brief wrestling match with his ceremonial garment.
It was the same robe that appeared to slide on so easily
three years ago, but this time took on a life of its own.
As the cameras clicked and zoomed and a packed public gallery
looked on, Mr Cull's attempts to don it turned into an
exhibition of twisting, turning and eventually a bit of a
Thankfully, council chief executive Paul Orders, wearing a
white wig and the beginnings of a smirk, was on hand to help
But having only just managed to get it on, Mr Cull was soon
taking it off again - protesting that he was starting to
overheat and was ''going to expire at any moment''.
Luckily for Mr Cull, his 14 councillors were better behaved
than the robe as they took turns to swear an oath of office
and engage in hearty handshakes with the mayor.
Earlier, they were welcomed into the council chamber for the
first time by the skirl of a lone piper playing Flower of
Scotland, and then a karakia (prayer) and mihi whakatau
Mr Orders explained the symbolic meaning behind the mayor's
robe, chain, hat and gloves, before administering Mr Cull's
oath on behalf of the city.
Mr Cull then took the oaths of each councillor, in
alphabetical order, to warm applause after each became one of
the city's elected representatives for the next three years.