Waitara board ruffles then sets some rules

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014

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A guide for good behaviour has been adopted by Waitara's community board, but not before one of its members was accused of already breaking its rules.

At yesterday's meeting, the board decided to approve a code of conduct, which outlines standards of behaviour for the group.

This includes reference to how members interact with each other and with the public.

But discussion soon got heated after board member Trevor Dodunski said he did not see a need for it.

"It's more or less an employer thing - we're working for the community," he said.

At this point New Plymouth District councillor Craig McFarlane challenged Mr Dodunski's behaviour at a recent meeting held in the town to discuss the Waitara leasehold issue.

Mr McFarlane said based on some of the misinformation Mr Dodunski gave to those attending the February 2 meeting, it was clear he did not represent the community board despite being introduced to the meeting in that capacity.

Mr McFarlane said he was not surprised Mr Dodunski refused to support the code of conduct.

"You've already broken every rule," he said.

In the end, the code of conduct was supported by the all members of the community board, with the exception of Mr Dodunski, who voted against it.

Deputy mayor Heather Dodunski said she wanted to be reassured that the document bound all members of the board, even those who did not support it. Council staff present at the meeting confirmed that it did.

Legislation requires local authorities to have a code of conduct, but it is not mandatory for community boards.

The NPDC adopted a code in April 2012.

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