Absentee councillors a minority at meetings
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’’.