All Otago Regional councillors, except its chairman and
longest-serving councillor, have committee responsibilities
under its proposed new structure.
One of the first jobs of the new council, which was sworn in
last week, is to decide on its committee structure.
Council chairman Stephen Woodhead has proposed a revamp of
the committee structure, which is up for adoption at a
council meeting tomorrow.
He proposes retaining five standing committees, but dropping
the engineering and hazards and natural resources committees
in favour of a technical committee and a communications
The communications committee would pull together internal and
external council communications, community engagement and
education across the whole organisation.
Mr Woodhead said under the proposed structure, long-serving
councillor Louise Croot would retain her objections committee
and commissioner appointment subcommittee roles.
He had dropped all his committee responsibilities, including
chairmanship of the regional transport committee, which he
had held for six years.
Upon reflection, that work, combined with his roles in local
government nationally and regionally, had been too much, Mr
''It's about managing workload and utilising skills.''
The change in structure also translated into a change in
Cr Michael Deaker, last term's chairman of the policy
committee, has dropped to deputy, new council deputy
chairwoman Cr Gretchen Robertson, former chairwoman of the
now-defunct natural resources committee, having been
recommended for the job.
Mr Woodhead said it was a decision looking to the future and
Cr Deaker would be able to provide significant support,
mentoring and advice to Cr Robertson.
''[That committee] has a big workload ... and will need to
keep an overview of the regional policy statement.''
Second-term councillor Trevor Kempton would receive his first
chairmanships, heading the new communications committee and
chairing the regional transport committee.
Mr Woodhead said he had tried to ensure all councillors were
involved, even the newest members - Cr Gary Kelliher, who was
up for the deputy chairmanship of the finance and corporate
committee, and Cr Graeme Bell, deputy of the new
communications committee and regional transport committee.
Leadership of the finance and corporate committee, vacated by
former councillor Duncan Butcher, was to go to former deputy
chairman Cr David Shepherd.
''He has formal training in banking and finance and as former
deputy chair had involvement in several of those activities.
I felt he was ideal.''
Chairman of the technical committee was proposed to be Cr
Bryan Scott, former regulatory committee chairman, with Cr
Doug Brown as deputy. The committee will oversee the science,
engineering and waterways and flood management areas of
It was proposed Cr Neill, former deputy of the finance and
corporate committee, would chair the regulatory committee,
with Cr Gerry Eckhoff as his deputy.