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Orientation day for new councillors

Orientation day for new councillors
The new council on orientation day, Russell Ellis, Lynette Lovett, Tony Todd, Neil Brown, Leen Braam, Liz McMillan, Rodger Letham, Carolyn Cameron and Richard Wilson. Phill Hooper was absent.

Finding out who sits where, who does what and meeting the staff.
It sounds like the start of the new school term, but it was introduction day for the new Ashburton District Council.
The councillors elect had their first meeting, an introductory workshop, on Wednesday.
Mayor-elect Neil Brown assigned the seating around the table based on experience, with the returning councillors all sitting near the front and the four new councillors at the back.
Russell Ellis is back for his third term to sit mid-table with Richard Wilson and then Phill Hooper to his left, and across the table, Tony Todd is at the other end.
At the mayor’s right is Liz McMillan, who Brown is set to retain as the Deputy Mayor.
“She is not confirmed as the deputy mayor but it will be my recommendation she retains the role.”
Brown has already held one-on-one meetings with the councillors to discuss their goals for the term, and yesterday’s workshop was an orientation for the new councillors and a refresher for the returnees.
Brown said it was to meet the executive team, discuss their departments and roles, provide more information on the running of the council, and anything else that needed covering before things get more official next week.
At its inaugural meeting held next Thursday the councillors, and the Methven Community board, will be sworn in before getting down to business.
Earlier this week Brown attended the LGNZ meeting for all the country’s newly elected mayors.
Of the 67 mayors, Brown said there were around 30 new mayors showing “a fair bit of turnover”.
Among the newcomers was Christchurch’s new mayor Phil Mauger, who last week called for regional funding for the city’s new multi-use arena.
“I had a chat with Phil, but no, we didn’t discuss the monies. The door is always open for Phil to come down and talk to us as it is for any mayor.”
Over the two days, Brown said they covered the “need to know stuff” such as code of conduct, governance management, and handling the media.

  • By Jonathan Leask