Extras vital on finance committee

Ian Pottinger
Ian Pottinger

A city councillor is campaigning to get more people on the committee that he didn't make the cut for.

Six councillors sit on the council's finance and policy committee but Ian Pottinger is not one of them.

The second-term councillor sought to be chairman of the committee after the elections, when councillors could ask for positions of responsibility.

But Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt swayed in favour of long-term councillor Neil Boniface and cut the number of councillors sitting on the committee from 12 to six.

Now Pottinger is campaigning to get all councillors back on the committee but maintains it is not out of bitterness. "I really think it provides robust governance."

He could not understand the logic behind Shadbolt's decision to dump six councillors from around the finance table.

"I reckon it's a bad formula."

Shadbolt, however, had different ideas.

"We did it under Jackie Kruger and we dropped it in the previous term because it seemed to undermine the council meeting a bit because it tended to be a repeat system."

Shadbolt said there were always one or two councillors who wanted to change the system each term but it would be hard to gain support from those who had tried that regime under Kruger.

He believed Pottinger genuinely wanted to improve council processes but did not dismiss the idea that he was trying to raise his public profile.

"Every councillor secretly wants to be mayor. They all deny it emphatically but every single one would like to be mayor."

Finance and policy committee chairman Boniface said the formula worked well in his opinion but he was not concerned if was changed because the majority favoured Pottinger's system.

"It just will become a bit cumbersome."

The councillors on the committee are Boniface, Lindsay Abbott, Graham Lewis, Darren Ludlow, Graham Sycamore and Lindsay Thomas.

A decision will be made at the full council meeting tonight.

The Southland Times