Majority representation for locals

Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin runs a meeting at Wingatui Hall last night to discuss its future....
Former Dunedin mayor Peter Chin runs a meeting at Wingatui Hall last night to discuss its future. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Wingatui residents intent on retaining control over the governance of Wingatui Hall were successful last night in approving a rule guaranteeing majority local representation.

The meeting was called to approve a new set of rules for the hall, which has been the subject of a bitter feud between two factions of the committee, comprising Wingatui members against non-Wingatui members.

The meeting was facilitated by mediator Peter Chin, as hall chairwoman Bex Hill could not attend because of work commitments.

Last year, the former Dunedin mayor was called on to mediate between the factions and help draft new rules.

Approved unanimously by those present, the rules were fairly standard for an incorporated society, Mr Chin said.

They would see a new executive elected next month and then another executive election later this year.

A rule proposed by treasurer Brian Isaac that a majority of the 10 executive members be from Wingatui prompted much discussion.

Voting specifically on that, 21 supported it and 10 were opposed.

Fairfield resident and executive member Yvonne Adam said the stipulation made her feel like an "outsider", and she feared it was a "serious mistake" for the hall's future.

Those from Fairfield, Mosgiel and further afield had a legitimate interest in the community facility, she said.

A Wingatui resident, who declined to be named, said he also opposed the majority-control stipulation, and said many of those now complaining about outsiders running it had "neglected" the hall in the past.

However, he felt the current executive should be barred from re-election next month because of the bitterness of the row that engulfed the committee.

Another Wingatui resident said it was reasonable for locals to keep a degree of control over the hall.

After the votes, Mr Chin warned residents that majority control "could be a nightmare" to administer.



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