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Connelly granted leave of absence

South Wairarapa Mayor Martin Connelly will take a two-month leave of absence to focus on “wellbeing issues”.

The leave of absence was approved at an extraordinary council meeting in public exclusion yesterday, with his leave period starting on March 4.

In line with legislative protocols, Deputy Mayor Melissa Sadler-Futter will assume full delegation and therefore act as mayor for the duration of Connelly’s absence.

“It is important to note that, during this time, his relationship to the community as mayor will be suspended with Mrs Sadler-Futter representing council fully in that regard,” a statement from South Wairarapa District Council said.

“Councillors wish Mr Connelly a restful break as he focuses on his wellbeing. Any questions or queries should be directed to Mrs Sadler-Futter.”

The statement said councillors unanimously agreed to the two-month absence.

The process for requesting and granting of leave was outlined by chief executive Janice Smith in her covering report, which was received by councillors.

Connelly was elected South Wairarapa’s mayor in October 2022 with a mission to improve the quality of the
council’s decision-making.

In October last year, the council unanimously made a vote of no-confidence in Connelly, claiming he had been dismissive towards some community members and absent from several important meetings.

– NZLDR

LDR is local body
journalism co-funded
by RNZ and NZ On Air.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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