Ab­sen­tee coun­cil­lors a mi­nor­ity at meet­ings

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

At­ten­dance at meet­ings and work­shops might not be com­pul­sory for Porirua City coun­cil­lors, but the turnout in the past 12 months has been gen­er­ally im­pres­sive.

Fig­ures given to Kapi- Mana News by the coun­cil show gen­er­ally high at­ten­dance this tri­en­nium, es­pe­cially by first- term coun­cil­lors.

In the last two years Anita Baker has missed just three of 121 as­signed meet­ings or work­shops. Ana Cof­fey was 107/117, Bron­wyn Kropp 111/ 126, Faafoi Seiuli 95/122, Rob Rangi 101/124 and Wayne Poutoa 93/114.

Of the re­turn­ing coun­cil­lors, Denys Latham went to 126 of 137 as­signed meet­ings, and at­tended 11 he was not re­quired to.

Tim Shep­pard was 129/ 138. Four were missed dur­ing a leave of ab­sence.

Long- serv­ing east­ern ward coun­cil­lor Litea Ah Hoi at­tended the fewest meet­ings, 83 out of 129, but says they are not ‘‘ legally obliged’’ to at­tend work­shops.

‘‘I do go to work­shops, when there is in­for­ma­tion I want to know, but af­ter 12 years [as a coun­cil­lor] you can hear the same things re­peated.

‘‘Some of th­ese coun­cil­lors who come to ev­ery­thing [ they’re as­signed] don’t say a heck of a lot or con­trib­ute, so th­ese stats don’t nec­es­sar­ily mean a lot.

‘‘I think it means more to be ef­fec­tive in your com­mu­nity.’’

Ken Dou­glas missed 25 of 149 meet­ings he was ex­pected to at­tend – the high­est num­ber as­signed to any coun­cil­lor.

Mayor Nick Leggett (116 of 133 in the last two years) said: ‘‘There are other ways to mea­sure per­for­mance. [Ms Ah Hoi’s] at­ten­dance is not a con­cern for me, she makes her con­tri­bu­tion in a num­ber of ways.’’

Ms Baker, how­ever, said ratepay­ers ex­pect their elected of­fici- als to at­tend all meet­ings and work­shops, in or­der to make in­formed de­ci­sions on their be­half.

‘‘I have been paid to go and peo­ple ex­pect me to. My per­sonal view is that you should be paid to at­tend [per as­signed meet­ing], if you want peo­ple to do the work prop­erly.’’

Mr Leggett said there would prob­a­bly be a re­view of the fort­nightly com­mit­tee struc­ture next year, but said ‘‘ev­ery­one’s happy with the way it’s been go­ing’’.

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