The Government has withdrawn Crown manager Peter Winder from the Kaipara District Council because of “technical uncertainties” about his appointment.
Mr Winder was one of the commissioners the Government appointed to replace the mayor & councillors in 2012, following the blowout in cost of the new Mangawhai sewage scheme. The council returned to democratic rule with the election of a new council last October.
Last July, then-Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston said: “Mr Winder will support council members by taking responsibility for legal actions relating to past issues on their behalf. This will allow council members to focus on the district’s future.” The Crown manager role was to be for 3 years.
The present associate local government minister, Jacqui Dean, said yesterday: “The Kaipara District Council is transitioning well back to local governance, led by the strong leadership of the locally elected mayor & councillors. It is unfortunate I have to withdraw Peter Winder from his appointment as Crown manager to the council.
“Withdrawing Peter Winder as Crown manager is not a reflection of his actions but is due to technical uncertainties.
“Following an evaluation of assistance to the council, there are concerns about potential technical flaws with the Crown manager’s appointment & terms of reference. This does not bring into question prior actions of the Crown manager, but if the role continued there would be uncertainty about the legality of future actions.
“The withdrawal of the Crown manager is not a reflection on the performance of the council, nor was this issue created by the council. The council is performing well and in an effective manner. However, there is still a need for ongoing support to address the issues of the past.
“I want to assure the Kaipara community that the Government is committed to supporting the council. My officials are working with the council to explore options for providing ongoing support.
“The Crown observer (Barry Harris), who was appointed in October 2016, will continue to support the council by providing governance advice & guidance.”
8 July 2016: Winder to stay on at Kaipara council as Crown manager
30 August 2012: Minister names 4 commissioners to run Kaipara council
Attribution: Ministerial release.