‘Business as usual’ before election

Peter Wethey, deputy mayor

Kaipara deputy mayor Peter Wethey has declared his candidacy in the district’s mayoral by-election following the resignation of former incumbent Greg Gent, with an assurance that normal council business will remain a priority in the interim.

Under the Local Government Act, in the event of a vacancy in the office of mayor, ‘the deputy mayor must perform all the responsibilities and duties, and may exercise all the powers of the mayor’.

Mr Wethey remains deputy mayor in title, and says he has received support for permanency in the office from councillors and the wider Kaipara community. 

Nominations open on November 24 and close at noon on Friday December 22, with the election taking place by postal vote on Saturday, February 17, next year. 

“Over the next three months, for the council, it will be very much business as usual,” said Mr. Wethey. “We have got to keep hitting our targets including finalising the Long Term Plan for Kaipara – hitting targets as we are expected to do. It is a pity Greg has resigned but this is entirely a personal matter for him and has nothing at all to do with the council as an entity.”

KDC will continue to be administered by the interim chief executive officer Peter Tynan, who was appointed after the resignation in August of former CEO, Graeme Sibery. 

“The appointment of a permanent CEO will now be delayed until next March after the election result, to ensure the involvement of the new mayor in that selection process,” Mr Wethey said. 

“Continuity of council’s works and operations are essential in the ensuing period, and I can assure staff and the wider public that this will in fact be the case.”

The council farewelled Mr Gent as his resignation took effect last week, and when he gave a broader indication of why he decided to resign.

“Leaving after a year wasn’t my preference but it’s where, for a number of reasons, I found myself, and it was the right thing to do.

“Those reasons stay with me because the health and brand of Kaipara comes way ahead of anything else. You are there for the organisation, not for yourself, and that’s why I’ve left.”

He had said earlier he will be concentrating on his farming enterprises and a number of high profile directorships.

Cr Anna Curnow spoke for others after the farewell, saying: 

“It’s sad he’s leaving. His announcement that he’s resigning came as a total shock but he also has a huge portfolio of work outside the council.”

Full by-election details including dates and conditions for nomination and voting are on page 27.


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