All can vote on Hobbs

Marian Hobbs.
Marian Hobbs.
All councillors will be free to vote on whether Marian Hobbs should be removed as chairwoman of the Otago Regional Council tomorrow.

Their right to do so was challenged by the Central Otago Environmental Society, which expressed concern about some councillors having a conflict of interest on water issues.

Water policy was central to the campaign to oust Ms Hobbs, the society argued.

The Office of the Auditor-general rejected the society’s argument.

“We cannot see that any councillors would have a personal financial interest in who the council chair should be," the office said in a statement.

"Nor can we see that the other forms of bias or predetermination alleged by the society would arise in the matter of who is best placed to chair the council.

"Councillors are entitled to consider as a group who is best placed to chair the council and to have their own views on that."

Ms Hobbs faces a vote tomorrow morning on whether she should be removed as chairwoman after nine councillors sought an extraordinary meeting.

If councillors vote her out, they can decide on her replacement.

Cr Gary Kelliher said all councillors being allowed to vote was "a sensible outcome, as we all expected".

The challenge from the society was "an extremist approach by an extremist lobby group", he said.



What a shambles, but sums up the ORC and their ability to carry out their role as regulators. If the people writing in to support hobbs parked the 'be kind' mantra and looked at what she has done, any objective person with any intellect will realise she is a problem whom should not have been voted in. Her deliberate actions are antidemocratic

There is nothing shambolic about what this particular article is about.

A sensible decision by the OAG confirming the rights of elected members to vote on a matter of leadership. Don't forget, it wasn't councillors that sought voting rights be restricted, it was an external organisation that made this the story what it is.

What comes out of tomorrow's meeting may be a different story though.

Agree. I think it very likely that Cr Laws will become the new Chairperson of the Otago Regional Council. But, whoever it is, the ORC is likely to work better together with a Chairperson which the majority has chosen and therefore demonstrated confidence in. This makes me wonder about the history of local government and why we now have a separate election for the mayoralty. I think that, formerly, county councillors, for example, just elected a county chairman from amongst themselves once they had all been elected. New Zealand has followed the English system of local government and it seems that there 'directly elected' mayors are a fairly recent new thing. Quoting Wikipedia: The first such political post was the Mayor of London, created as the executive of the Greater London Authority in 2000 as part of a reform of the local government of Greater London. (ends). If the Chairperson of the Otago Regional Council were a position directly elected by the voters in a separate election, then the Councillors would not be able to vote to have them replaced.

About time the pragmatic people stepped forward and pushed the ideologies back where they belong.
We are still a democratic country.
Pragmatic people, are caring people too. It's just that they care about more than one issue at a time.



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