Dayle Harwood. PHOTO/FILE
The shock resignation of South Wairarapa councillor Dayle Harwood has other elected members saying “a breath of fresh air” has walked out the door.
Elected to the Featherston Ward in 2016, Mr Harwood stood down over the weekend, citing “no confidence” in South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] chief executive Paul Crimp and Mayor Viv Napier.
Mrs Napier has accepted the resignation and has approached Local Government New Zealand to begin the process of a by-election, which will cost an estimated $20,000 according to Mr Crimp.
Mr Harwood was renowned for his strong ethics and willingness to speak out.
On Monday, councillors spoke of the hole Mr Harwood would leave in SWDC.
“Featherston has lost a huge voice,” Lee Carter said.
“Dayle had an impeccable ability to perform at a high level at the council table.
“His aim was always to deliver for Featherston and ensure of good process and transparency.”
Mrs Carter said Mr Harwood listened to others, thoroughly researched issues, and “left no stone unturned”.
“I’m going to miss his sharp and articulate mind — it’s a very sad day.”
Colin Olds said he was extremely saddened by Mr Harwood’s resignation.
“I completely respect his reasons, and in a lot of cases, I actually endorse some of his concerns.”
Brian Jephson said Mr Harwood had been “a breath of fresh air” for SWDC and his resignation was “unfortunate”.
Mr Jephson said although he did not always see eye to eye with Mr Harwood, he had a unique way of looking at things, and this opened up the minds of others.
“I didn’t always agree with him — at times he really frustrated me because I couldn’t see where he was coming from.
“But he did make us look at things differently, so for that I really thank him.”
Margaret Craig wished only to say that she was “surprised” by the resignation.
Pip Maynard said she was sad to learn of the news.
“Dayle was an amazing representative for the Featherston community.”
Ms Maynard said “serious issues” had been raised and these would need to be looked at.
Featherston Community Board chairwoman Robyn Ramsden said Mr Harwood was an “invaluable” member.
Mrs Ramsden said she understood and supported Mr Harwood’s reasons for stepping down.
“He’s really process driven like I am, so I feel like I’ve lost a buddy, a champion for getting our processes sorted out.
“He’s free and frank, which I appreciate, and we’ll miss that.”
Mrs Ramsden said she would miss his valuable input and guidance.
Mrs Napier said the nature of a democracy was that everyone had their own views.
“Dayle has been a hard-working councillor and he’s represented South Wairarapa well.”
Colin Wright said he was “very disappointed”.
“Dayle provided a different perspective on some subjects, which I appreciated.”
Pam Colenso did not wish to comment on Monday.
Paora Ammunson could not be reached for comment.