Councilor Gore resigns over ‘unsustainable fear’

The drama continues around the Gore District Council table following the resignation of a popular and long-serving councillor.

CR Bret Highsted tendered his resignation yesterday, effective immediately.

A spokeswoman for the council said in a statement that Cr Highsted had apologized in a letter to deputy mayor Keith Hovell for commenting to a person outside the council ahead of the council’s extraordinary meeting last week, which was called in committee. held.

Cr Highsted stressed that he had not released any information after the meeting.

Since last year’s election, he has found the council environment “highly stressful and the levels of fear unsustainable”.

In the last election Cr Highsted was the candidate with the most votes for the Gore Ward.

He was in his sixth term on the Board and had held numerous senior positions, including Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Chief executive Stephen Parry said Cr Highsted’s contribution would be missed.

“His colleagues and staff respected him for his agile mind and dedication to his role.”

Cr Highsted’s resignation would trigger a by-election, Mr Parry said.

During last Tuesday’s extraordinary meeting, council members received an update from the CEO’s review committee.

All councilors attended the meeting, which was chaired by CR Hovell.

Both Gore Mayor Ben Bell and Mr. Parry were given the opportunity to address the assembly and separately answer questions from council members.

The assembly unanimously agreed to nominate a council member to act as an intermediary between the mayor and the general manager for governance and relevant operational matters.

The council also decided to remove the mayor from the CEO’s review committee and appoint Messrs. Hovell, Richard McPhail, John Gardyne and Bronwyn Reid.