Crucial term for new deputy mayor
Upper Hutt has a new deputy mayor.
Lawyer John Gwilliam, a city councillor since 2004, takes over the deputy role made vacant by Peter McCardle, who had six years in the role.
Mr Gwilliam was appointed to the job, worth nearly $40,000, by mayor Wayne Guppy at the first public meeting of the new city council last Wednesday.
"I sort of had to think about it, in terms of the time commitment especially, with my operating a business here," Mr Gwilliam said.
"I enjoyed being chair of the policy committee and this will be quite a different role. Policy was probably more hands on. I was very happy with that and was surprised when Wayne made the offer," the owner of Main St Legal said.
A long time Silverstream resident, Mr Gwilliam said he takes on the deputy mayoralty at a critical time for Upper Hutt's future, decisions around local government reform looming.
"I'll be providing back up for Wayne, for the times when he can't attend functions, but also I see this as a very important three years with the amalgamation shift."
Married to Jill and with four daughters, Mr Gwilliam does not concede the new Upper Hutt council will be the last in this form.
"There will be substantial representation to be made to the Local Government Commission. It's a challenge."
Mr Gwilliam was comfortably elected for a fourth term this month, polling second highest of 27 council candidates, trailing only Dave Wheeler.
Mr Gwilliam, who now is Upper Hutt's longest serving councillor, was also re-elected to the Hutt Mana Charitable Trust but missed winning a seat on the Hutt Valley District Health Board.
Mr Guppy said Mr Gwilliam was the most experienced of the councillors.
Upper Hutt Leader