Chairman fails in attempt to dump deputy

19:59, Jan 22 2013
Howick Local Board
TESTY: A good large crowd turned up to see chair Michael Williams try to roll deputy Adele White from the Howick Local Board at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga.

Howick Local Board chairman Michael Williams has failed in his bid to dump his deputy Adele White.

Williams found little support in his attempt to drop White on Monday during a long and often testy meeting and eventually withdrew his motion.

The board also voted down a proposal to discuss Williams' impending court appearance on March 1. Williams faces charges of drink driving and refusing to accompany a police officer in May.

The extraordinary meeting was held at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga.

Thirteen people spoke in support of White, starting with Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross who, as a resident, presented his petition of 830 signatures.

A vocal audience of more than 100 people often interrupted the proceedings, also in support of the deputy.

Williams read the letter that initiated the meeting and outlined why he was seeking to replace White.

He said she did not have enough time for the position, being a fulltime police officer, and was often ''diametrically opposed'' to him on issues.

The letter was signed by five of the nine board members, including Steve Udy who presented a graph showing White attended only 57 per cent of workshops.

Board member and Ross's wife Lucy Schwaner countered that Williams also had a job - as chief financial officer of a medium-sized company - and that the meetings referred to were voluntary.

Schwaner said board members did not have to attend if the subject did not relate to their portfolios.

White said she was ''deeply ashamed by this debacle''.

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Howick Local Board
FAILED ATTEMPT: Michael Williams at the board meeting.

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