New look Tasman District Council takes office
Re-elected Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne and his team of 13 councillors have been sworn in.
Eight new faces were included in the new line up on Thursday – Kit Maling, Trevor Tuffnell, Dana Wensley, Paul Hawkes, David Ogilvie, Sue Brown, Dean McNamara and Anne Turley. They were joined by re-elected councillors Peter Canton, Paul Sangster, Mark Greening and Tim King along with Stuart Bryant, who was elected unopposed in the Lakes-Murchison Ward.
Kempthorne recommended King as deputy mayor – a role the Moutere-Waimea Ward councillor has held since 2001 – and the councillors agreed.
The mayor congratulated his newly sworn team.
"We have all stood for election to make good council decisions for our community, the community that's living in Tasman district," Kempthorne said. "We've just taken an oath, all of us, to work in the best interests of the whole of Tasman district."
Everyone, except for the mayor, came from a ward and would reflect the issues of their area but "when it comes to our decision making, we're making decisions for the whole district", Kempthorne said.
He spoke about the council's "collectively responsibility". Once an issue had been debated and a decision made, "then we have that collective responsibility to stand together and say: 'This is the decision of council.'
"Sometimes we may say, actually it's different to me, I think something different but what we have to avoid is bagging each other or saying 'actually the council's made a wrong decision'," Kempthorne said.
One of the key challenges facing the council was the provision of services within a level of rates increases and debt that the community could sustain.
A secure water supply was another challenge, including the proposed Waimea dam, the mayor said.
He encouraged the councillors to enjoy the journey.
"It's a real privilege to serve as mayor or as councillors in our community and I'm really looking forward to the next three years of working for our community, engaging with our community and making great decisions for everybody."
Cr Wensley proposed an amendment to the standing orders to make the quorum for the council's subcommittees two "elected members" rather than just "two members". The councillors agreed.
Cr Canton pointed out that the time limit on speakers at public forum had been lifted from three minutes to five minutes under the new rules.
The first ordinary meeting of the new council was set for next Thursday.