Five retiring Hamilton councillors have been acknowledged for their service at the last meeting of Hamilton City Council for the term.
Veteran Pippa Mahood was awarded Freedom of the City for her significant and sustained contribution to Hamilton over nine terms on the council, while Peter Bos formally received the honour of Patron of Waikato Stadium.
In a speech acknowledging the quintet's service, Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker said at no time in the recent past had so many councillors retired at once: Mrs Mahood, Mr Bos, John Gower, Daphne Bell and Maria Westphal.
Mrs Mahood had "seen out" nine mayors and been a champion for staff, said Ms Hardaker.
She was well known for her contribution to the city through council, hospice and her role on the district health board.
Mrs Mahood said that while the machinery of council had changed enormously, elected members' and staff commitment to the city remained entirely the same.
Mr Bos said the mayor was a "humorist, story teller and soldier" who did not suffer fools lightly.
He departed having never personally sent an email, she claimed.
Mr Bos gave thanks to his friends and family for their support, pointing out his wife Jan would now no longer be able to threaten not to vote for him if he didn't do his chores.
Much to the "well-respected" Mr Gower's discomfort, the mayor said he had topped the country in exams for statutory management commissioners.
"You are quiet and humble but sometimes you have to allow us to acknowledge how proud of you we are," Ms Hardaker said.
The mayor described Mrs Bell as the council's quietest achiever, for whom people stopped and listened when she spoke. Ms Hardaker praised her ethical, steadfast approach to council work.
Maria Westphal had brought professionalism to her roles as past chairwoman of finance, and currently strategy and policy.
"I'm confident that the people of Hamilton recognise in their own way the contribution these people have made to the city over a long time."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Is it time for backyard fireworks to be banned?Related story: (See story)