New team assembled for term

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Ashburton mayor Neil Brown, councillors and the Methven Community Board have been sworn in, with Methven councillor Liz McMillan named as deputy mayor.

Ms McMillan led the community board before her council selection.

Mr Brown, in his mayoral speech, said the work started now – and there was a lot on – an upgrade of the Ashburton central business district, the $51.6m civic centre and library, and a new pipe project under the Ashburton River.

The council this term will have five standing committees, up from the three of the previous council.

They are audit, risk and finance, bylaw and policy, community services, environmental services and infrastructure services.

Returning councillor and mayoral aspirant Leen Braam will lead the audit, risk and finance committee with newcomer John Falloon as deputy, Mr Falloon will lead the bylaw and policy committee with former mayor Angus McKay as deputy, Mr McKay will lead community services with newcomer Carolyn Cameron as deputy, returning councillor Diane Rawlinson takes on environmental services with newcomer Rodger Letham as deputy, veteran Stuart Wilson will lead infrastructure services with Lynette Lovett as deputy, and the executive committee is Mr Brown, Ms McMillan, and councillors Braam, McKay and Wilson.

Mr Brown acknowledged the work of former mayor Donna Favel and former councillors and said the oath of office should not be taken lightly.

He welcomed new councillors and thanked retiring councillors and those not elected.

He said the new smaller council – nine councillors instead of 12 – did not mean less service.

Councillors, he said, should not put the interests of one area before that of the whole community.

Councillors, he said, might not always agree but would work together.

“In the words of Jacinda Ardern, let’s do this,” he said.

Mr Brown said councillors’ role was to keep track of the money and not direct the CEO on what to do.

He thanked fellow mayoral contenders for an “honest and respectful” campaign.

Mr Brown urged ratepayers to contact him or councillors on issues and “we can only hear the voices who speak”.

Meanwhile, former mayor Donna Favel said she wrote in a District Diary in 2011 of a sports session, with candidates urged to do their best, observe the rules, and listen to the coach.

She said she got to apply those things in council, and talked about “passionate spectators”.

She urged councillors to look after themselves and to get the work balance right.

She said it had been an honour and privilege to serve and now she would be that passionate spectator.

Other appointments:

Airport authority, Leen Braam, Rodger Letham, Lynette Lovett, road safety, Lovett, McMillan, Rawlinson, library and civic project group, mayor, deputy, Braam, Rawlinson (and CEO and staff), biodiversity, Lovett, Rawlinson, creative communities, Braam, Falloon, Methven Community Board, Letham, McMillan.

There are also many appointments to council-controlled organisations and boards.