New look at Mackenzie District Council’s decision-making structure

The inaugural meeting of the new Mackenzie District Council introduced a new structure, more frequent meetings and a commitment to hold regular meetings in Twizel when it meets in Fairlie on Tuesday.

At the start of each three-year term, the mayor is required to choose a decision-making structure.

In a report to Council, three models were proposed – the status quo of a governing body with full committees, a governing body with committees, and a governing body acting on its own.

Mayor Anne Munro chose the latter, reducing the number of committees “because it better suits a smaller council, requires fewer resources and creates clarity in decision-making.”

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The proposal includes provisions for setting up “time-limited” project working groups with the approval of the mayor, and for holding public forums at the start of each council meeting.

All models include two committees, a CEO Performance Committee, which meets in December, May, August or as needed, and an Audit and Risk Committee, which meets quarterly and will be chaired again by Twizel accountant Bruce Mincham.

Previously, the board used a “committees of the whole” model, in which all members sat on all committees.

During the previous term, it included audit and risk, commercial and economic development, engineering and services, urban planning and regulations, and strategy committees, of which only the audit will remain. and risks.

New Mackenzie District Mayor Anne Munro was quick to implement changes, including holding regular meetings at Twizel and changing the governance model (file photo)

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

New Mackenzie District Mayor Anne Munro was quick to implement changes, including holding regular meetings at Twizel and changing the governance model (file photo)

Munro said the new governance model was “understood … to suit well the smaller councils of which we are one.”

“A key benefit is that this approach avoids duplication of decision-making and improves efficiency. To avoid possible information overload at a board meeting, we will make board meetings more frequent and hold them every four weeks instead of every six.

The new meeting schedule provides for full council meetings to take place more frequently, on the last Tuesday of each month, except for a break in July.

Munro said one in three meetings would be held at the council offices in Twizel, to allow councilors to engage with a wider section of the community.

She said the council started implementing this before Covid-19, but the disruption saw them revert to meeting only in Fairlie.

“Before the Covid, meetings were held regularly in Tekapo as in Twizel. Lack of suitable AV [audiovisual] equipment and movement restrictions meant this was not possible in Covid times.

“We have now installed the necessary equipment to hold meetings in both Twizel and Tekapo, which will allow participants to join meetings remotely. Restoring the rotation of council meetings in Twizel aims to improve connectivity and visibility with our Twizel community, recognizing that Twizel is an important base of payment in our district.

“This will make it easier for residents of Twizel to attend council meetings and take the opportunity to use the public forum at the start of our meetings.”

Pukaki councilor Karen Morgan was named deputy mayor of Mackenzie in October.  (File photo).

Provided / Stuff

Pukaki councilor Karen Morgan was named deputy mayor of Mackenzie in October. (File photo).

New Deputy Mayor, Pukaki Ward Councilor Karen Morgan, when asked about the role, said her interests lie in “the environment, tourism and managing sustainable growth for Twizel and the district as a whole. “.

She acknowledged her lack of consulting experience, but said she had “a range of skills and business experience which will hopefully provide a good foundation for the role.

“There’s a learning curve to manage in any new role and I don’t expect the board to be any different,” she said.

On Tuesday, Morgan was also named chairman of the chief executive’s performance committee, which the report says is responsible for employing the chief executive and managing the day-to-day relationship, as well as joining the mayor in representing the advising on Canterbury Mayors Forum, New Zealand local government, regional civil protection and Alpine Energy shareholder meetings.

Four Rural Water Supply Committees and a Grants Committee will sit alongside council representation on the Joint Alps 2 Ocean Committee, Upper Waitaki Water Area Committee, Water Area Committee Water Ōrāri Temuka Ōpihi Pareora (OTOP), Downlands Water Supply Committee, Canterbury Waste Committee, Aoraki Foundation, Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve Board and other committees.

Standing Orders of the Board were also approved, in which the Board agreed that members may attend meetings by audio or audiovisual links, but noted that such attendance would not count towards achieving quorum for meetings.

Compensation was set, with the mayor receiving $88,714, the deputy mayor $36,475 and the six councilors $29,162 each.

Kerry Bellringer has been named to the Twizel Community Board, joining Tracey Gunn, Tony Hodges, Mary Murdoch and Jan Spriggs.

Matt Murphy has been appointed to the Takapō/Tekapo Community Council, joining Sharron Binns, Steve Howes and Caroll Simcox.

Murray Cox has been appointed to the Fairlie Community Board, where he will join Damon Smith, Angela Habraken, Kieran Guiney and Holly Lane.