25 Nov 2022

Controversy swirls around Gore's new mayor

From Midday Report, 12:15 pm on 25 November 2022

Controversy is surrounding Gore's new mayor.

23-year-old Ben Bell became mayor after beating six-term incumbent Tracy Hicks by only eight votes.

Mr Hicks' sought a recount, but a judge dismissed his bid.

The new mayor's term has been tumultuous with issues over expenses and his desire for his own executive assistant.

A majority of councillors also dispute Mr Bell's choice of deputy mayor, Stewart MacDonell, and are seeking to overturn it. 

Mr Bell is currently taking a break and can't be reached for comment.

But Mr MacDonell says he's concerned it all makes the council appear dysfunctional.

RNZ Southern reporter Tim Brown spoke to Māni Dunlop.