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Minister's statement on Rodney District Council

Hon Sandra Lee
Minister of Local Government

News release
Local Government Minister's statement on Rodney District Council
For immediate release 21 March 2000

"I have today received confirmation of the resignation of the Mayor and five councillors of the Rodney District Council," the Minister of Local Government said.

The Minister noted that Rodney District Council should have a mayor and 12 councillors.
The quorum for decision-making is seven members of the council.

Sandra Lee said: "Currently there is still a quorum at this council, and therefore the council can still make decisions."

If any more councillors resign, there would no longer be a quorum at the council and the council would not be able to make decisions until extraordinary vacancies are filled.

The resignation of the Mayor automatically triggers the commencement of a by-election process to fill that vacancy. It could be 10 to 12 weeks before the results of a by-election are known.

The Council is more than six months out from the triennial local authority election, in October 2001. The council can therefore decide to fill the extraordinary vacancies created by the resignation of the five councillors either by appointment or by-election, the Minister advised.

Ms Lee went on to say: "I have been advised that, if any other councillors were to resign, the council would not have a quorum to determine how the vacancies should be filled. It would become the statutory responsibility of the returning officer to start the by-election process to fill those extraordinary vacancies."

"I also have to consider the recommendation made by the Ministerial Review Authority on the Rodney District Council, " the Minister said, "and the impact of that recommendation on any process to fill these extraordinary vacancies."

The Minister is currently undertaking statutory consultation on the recommendation of the Authority. The parties that the Minister has to consult, including the Rodney District Council, have up to 20 working days to respond to her with their views on the recommendations. That consultation period concludes on 5 April.

"In the meantime, I will be monitoring the actions of the council carefully," the Minister of Local Government said.


ENDS

Note: this is the only statement the Local Government Minister will make on today's developments. She declines interview requests to make further comment.

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