Marlborough deputy mayor chosen, mayor puts focus on environment

2:12 pm on 1 November 2019

A second-term councillor has been named deputy mayor in Marlborough.

Nadine Taylor

Councillor Nadine Taylor has been appointed Marlborough's deputy mayor. Photo: Ricky Wilson / Stuff / LDR

Picton's Nadine Taylor was revealed as John Leggett's second-in-command at the first full council meeting of the new term on Thursday.

Ms Taylor was unable to receive her ceremonial chains as she was in Japan for the Rugby World Cup, but wrote in and said being made deputy was an "honour".

"I look forward to working with new and re-elected councillors over the next three years as we continue to progress the work we've done to date, investing in our local communities and the wider Marlborough region," the mother-of-two said.

"I have great respect for Mayor Leggett and I know we will make a good team."

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett

John Leggett. Photo: Supplied

Mr Leggett, who was re-elected for a second term of his own, said appointing the Marlborough Sounds ward councillor as his right-hand woman was a "logical decision".

"Nadine has excelled in her role as a councillor in the last three years. We work well together and I'm confident she has the qualities to be outstanding in the role."

Ms Taylor replaces former deputy mayor Terry Sloan, who did not stand for re-election.

She came in as the most popular Marlborough Sounds ward candidate during her first run at local government in 2016, and continued the trend again this year.

Last term she established and chaired the Te Ao Māori sub-committee.

She was also a resource consent hearings commissioner, and a council representative for the council's Picton Smart and Connected group.

Ms Taylor would be sworn in at a future meeting, Mr Leggett said.

The council's last female deputy mayor was Jenny Andrews in 2013.

Mr Leggett also welcomed new councillors David Croad, Thelma Sowman and Barbara Faulls to the council table, and announced the committee structure for the next three years.

Ms Taylor was made chair of the assets and services committee, and councillor Mark Peters was made chair of the planning, finance and community committee.

Mr Peters had "an excellent grasp" of the council's finances, he said.

Mr Leggett named himself chair of the environment committee, and appointed councillors David Oddie, the former chair, and Gerald Hope as joint deputy chairs.

The council shake-up was to create a strong team focused on the environment, as there was "a lot of work to do" in that area, Mr Leggett said.

"Environmental management is at the heart of [the] council's responsibilities and we have increasingly complex issues to consider.

"I want this committee to be strongly led and well supported because the work we are doing will determine Marlborough's environmental reputation."

The environment and climate change were hot topics during the run-in to this year's local body elections.

"I have opted for proven experience with council business and procedure in my choice of chairs but, overall, I want to see the subcommittees oversee much of the workload just as they did last term," Mr Leggett said.

The council chamber was packed with members of the public on Thursday, including former deputy Terry Sloan and former mayor Alistair Sowman.

Mr Leggett stressed the council was "committed to openness and transparency", a week after councillor Jamie Arbuckle walked out of a private induction seminar, declaring he was going to boycott public-excluded meetings this term.

Mr Arbuckle on Thursday tried to amend the council's standing orders so the public would know when private workshops were being held. None of his colleagues supported the move.

no metadata

*Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the Newspaper Publishers' Association and NZ On Air.