Which Ashburton councillors missed the most meetings?

Four Ashburton District councillors have perfect attendance records a year into the council term,...
Four Ashburton District councillors have perfect attendance records a year into the council term, while two have missed a quarter of council meetings in the last year. Photo: LDR
Two Ashburton district councillors have missed a quarter of council meetings over the past year - one of whom has only been a councillor since May.

Leen Braam.
Leen Braam.
Meanwhile, four councillors have maintained perfect attendance.

Council attendance records show there have been 23 meetings between the new council being sworn in on October 27 last year and its meeting on October 31.

Councillors Carolyn Cameron, Russell Ellis, Richard Wilson, and Lynette Lovett have 100 per cent attendance records to date this term.

Councillor Leen Braam missed the first four meetings of the term following the election as he was overseas visiting family in the Netherlands.

He then missed two other meetings since to have a 75 per cent attendance rate.

Braam said that other absences have been down to suffering from long Covid.

“It’s made it a bit harder for me and I’m still getting out of it”.

Councillor Rob Mackle was only elected in May this year and has a 64 per cent attendance rate.

He won the Western Ward by-election following Rodger Letham’s death in December and was sworn in at the May 17 meeting.

Mackle has missed four of 11 meetings, which he said was for “various reasons”.

Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown has missed three meetings - an 84 per cent attendance rate.

Deputy Mayor Liz McMillan and first-term councillors Phil Hooper and Tony Todd have missed one meeting each.

An apology was recorded for all of the councillors' absences.

Rob Mackle.
Rob Mackle.
Under the council’s standing orders, the mayor, or acting chair, must invite apologies at the start of each meeting, including apologies for lateness or early departure.

The meeting can accept or decline any apologies.

The acceptance of a member’s apology constitutes a grant of ‘leave of absence’ for the meeting.

Members may be recorded as absent on council business if their absence is for that reason.

- By Jonathan Leask
Local Democracy Reporter 

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