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Here we go for three years

New mayor Alex Beijen of South Wairarapa. PHOTOS/FILE

Yesterday the regions’ three district councils held their inaugural council meetings after the local body elections earlier this month. All three opened their meetings with a formal powhiri carried out by local iwi.

Masterton District Council is reviewing the terms of reference for its high-profile Civic Centre, CBD and Henley Lake projects and re-jigging committees.

“The terms of reference for the Masterton Town Centre Reference Group, the Henley Lake Working Party and the Civic Centre Development Project Steering Group need review,” a report for yesterday’s council meeting said without elaborating.

As for the re-jig of council committees highest polling councillor, Bex Johnson, will chair a whole-of-council Infrastructure and Services Committee with 15 members. There needs to be eight for a quorum.

It oversees well-being as well as infrastructure, and the old Community Well-being Committee is gone.

Mayor Lyn Patterson was re-elected and Graham McClymont is set to remain as her deputy. She is in charge of a new Chief Executive Performance Review Committee while McClymont is on the Hood Strategic Advisory Group and chairs the steering group for the Civic Centre project.

The old Strategic Planning and Policy committee is also gone.

Frazer Mailman, the second-highest polling candidate, will chair a Hearings Committee and Gary Caffell, who previously chaired infrastructure, will chair an Awards and Grants Committee.

Audit and Risk Committee continues to be chaired by outside independent professional Philip Jones and yesterday’s meeting considered the annual accounts.

A rural advisory group is being established because the rural ward is gone.

The 273-page agenda gives a thorough run-down on the rules councillors are subject to, their perks and appointments to many outside working, steering and advisory groups.

Returning councillor David Holmes will represent the council on the Ruamahanga Whaitua Committee should the committee go ahead. There are four other newcomers to council.

Each council has a different way to elect the deputy mayor, and Carterton was to yesterday decide on the voting system it would apply for the election of new mayor Greg Lang’s deputy.

Greg Lang of Carterton.

Carterton District Council are again inviting Hurunui-o-Rangi Marae to sit at the council table for the three-year term. It was present for half of the previous term after the memorandum of understanding signed in February last year.

There are four newcomers to council.

South Wairarapa also welcomed its new mayor, Alex Beijen, its new council and community boards with two meetings later yesterday.

Five new ward councillors joined Beijen, who is also a first-time elected official.

The representatives were to be sworn in at 4pm yesterday and business for the council kicked off at 7pm, with the rubber stamping of the 2018/19 annual report.

The incoming council discussed a draft of the report last week. An Audit New Zealand review has also been completed.

These first meetings involve a great deal of explanation to councillors about the law, responsibilities and standing orders [meeting process rules] relevant to them.

Local government councillors must comply with many government acts including the Local Government Act, Local Authorities [Members’ Interests] Act, Public Records Act and Crimes Act.

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