Hobbs stands by resignation pledge

Marian Hobbs. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Marian Hobbs. PHOTO: ODT FILES
After a tumultuous tenure, Marian Hobbs has resigned from the Otago Regional Council.

The former MP was keeping mum on the decision yesterday, which followed her public declaration that she would resign if Environment Minister David Parker did not replace the council with commissioners.

Announcing the news in a statement, chairman Andrew Noone said the resignation did not trigger a by-election due to the proximity of next year’s local government elections.

He paid tribute to the first-term councillor’s contribution, saying she had been a ‘‘passionate, committed, and spirited voice around the table’’.

“We are grateful to Marian for her valuable work on various committees and in the Otago community, where she has had a particular focus on our mana whenua partnership, our public transport services and our work in policy and planning.’’

Cr Noone said the council would consider options for the vacated seat at its next meeting.

The council could choose to appoint a replacement, or leave the seat vacant until the election.

Ms Hobbs declined to comment yesterday.

In early September, Ms Hobbs signed a petition calling for councillors to be ousted following councillors’ decision to not note council staff’s preferred minimum flows for the Manuherikia River, after concerns arose about ‘‘incomplete science’’.

She was among several councillors who, in a letter to Mr Parker, alleged conflicts of interest, predetermination and unnecessary delays in noting minimum flows for the river.

She said she would resign if commissioners were not appointed, and yesterday followed through on that promise.

Mr Parker last night expressed his thanks for her service.

Ms Hobbs was elected to the council as a Dunedin ward councillor, and to the role as chairwoman, in 2019.

She was ousted as chairwoman and replaced by Mr Noone in July 2020, after an acrimonious tenure.

Deputy chairman Michael Laws said some of Ms Hobbs’ constituents would be disappointed by her resignation, but there were five other Dunedin councillors who would be able to pick up the slack until the election.

‘‘People’s personal circumstances change in politics all the time.’’

‘‘I’ve been around long enough to know that, and I never criticise people for resigning,’’ Cr Laws said.

‘‘There are myriad reasons why they might do so.

‘‘All you can do is wish them bon voyage and good luck.’’

Cr Alexa Forbes was disappointed by Ms Hobbs’ decision.

‘‘We are losing an extremely capable governor and someone who has a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge around environmental issues in particular.

‘‘I’m sad to lose that.’’

She understood Ms Hobbs felt she had not been able to do what she needed to do, and the decision was not surprising.


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Good, shame a few more politicians and local Mayors wouldn't instead of saying the "thought" about it!!!

As Cr Alexa Forbes said:
‘‘We are losing an extremely capable governor and someone who has a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge around environmental issues in particular."
Michael Laws has a lot to answer for. We won't forget this at election time.

Well, thats pretty sad. Leaves our Otago Waterways with one less Advocate. I sincerely hope the Denier/Taker/Polluter faction are still held to account .!

Take care Marian. All the Best.

Politicians often have the traits of large egos and a sense of their own self importance. Hobbs will not be missed because like the majority of ORC councillors she added very little value to the governance of Otago. She couldn’t get her own way so has thrown her toys and abandoned the sinking ship. As for the remaining crew, voter turnout at the last election suggests that for the majority of ratepayers they are an irrelevance. The cost of the ORC to ratepayers is increasing but the value of what they have delivered over the term of this council and executive continues to plummet. Let’s hope voters will turn out in numbers to remove this scurvy gang.

Just who do you think will replace the 'scurvy gang'? I disagree that Maria Hobbs added little value to the governance. She of all of them had years as a Member of Parliament, knew her way around, and wanted the best for our society, not for herself. Unlike Michael Laws.

Hmmm...I resign but only if I get what I want. Typifies everything that's wrong with ORC.

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