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Green light for White

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 08:18 23/01/2013
Adele White

GOOD TURNOUT: More than 100 people attended Monday night’s extraordinary Howick Local Board meeting to discuss the future of the chairman’s deputy. The meeting had to be moved across the road to the Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts to accommodate the crowd.

Adele White
NOW SAFE: Deputy chairwoman Adele White will remain in her position.

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Adele White is still deputy chairwoman of the Howick Local Board.

Chairman Michael Williams found little support in his attempt to dump Ms White on Monday during a long and often testy meeting.

He eventually withdrew his motion.

The board also voted down a proposal to discuss Mr Williams' pending court appearance on March 1.

Mr 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 Ms 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.

Mr Williams read the letter that initiated the meeting and outlined why he was seeking to replace Ms 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 Ms White attended only 57 per cent of workshops.

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

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

Ms White said she was "deeply ashamed by this debacle" and commented that Shirley Warren did not do a good job as Mr Williams' kindergarten teacher as "he doesn't share his toys and he doesn't play nice".

Steve Udy received great applause when he was the first of Mr Williams' supporters on the board to break rank, followed shortly by Mrs Warren.

The moment came as they voted for David Collings' amendment to create a "better more co-operative and collective working relationship" to achieve "more for the people of the Howick ward".

Mr Williams then withdrew the motion to remove Ms White - to unanimous support.

Mr Collings constantly wrangled with Mr Williams over the proceedings and was upset the chairman did not have to answer questions.

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- Eastern Courier

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