Two Councillors walk out

November 18th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

They were there to learn how to get along better – but instead two Wellington city councillors ended up storming out.

Earlier this month a workshop was held at the zoo so new and returning councillors could discuss a document outlining how they should interact with each other, and with council officers.

It included phrases such as having “no surprises”, having professional relationships that were “timely, courteous, respectful”, and building an “environment for trust between elected members”.

But during the discussion, councillors Helene Ritchie and Iona Pannett walked out, reportedly because they felt they weren’t being listened to.

Last term’s council repeatedly came under fire for being divisive and not working effectively. Since the election last month, the new council – which includes six new members – has been meeting regularly to discuss how it will function.

¬†Immediately after the election, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said there was a good mix of councillors and she expected leading them would be “a lot easier than in the last six months”.

Not a great start for the new Council.

Not overly surprised that Cr Ritchie walked out. She does have a long history of difficult relationships with her colleagues, including back in the 1970s or 1980s when she got dumped as Deputy Mayor by her own team.

I am somewhat surprised by Iona Pannett walking out, and it will be interesting to learn what was the trigger.

The meeting was run by Deputy Mayor Justin Lester, who said it was a “storm in a teacup”, and both councillors returned and joined in the discussion.

It was a “group session on some protocols on how councillors should behave”, he said.

“There was a perception also that the council was divisive and we wanted to address that . . . Some people had different opinions, but in the end we all agreed.

So the session was to deal with the perception that the Council was divisive and the result of it was two Councillors walking out! Sounds more than a perception.

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25 Responses to “Two Councillors walk out”

  1. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Well there’s a promising start for the next three years.

    Is it any wonder that local body elections get such a low turnout?

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  2. wikiriwhis business (4,115 comments) says:

    Awesum example for the argument against career politicians

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  3. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    And you want these turkeys to run Porirua, Kapiti, and the Hutts.

    No thankyou.

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  4. Manolo (14,041 comments) says:

    Wellington can expect more of that crap attitude from the Luddite Pannett.

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  5. Fletch (6,488 comments) says:

    Earlier this month a workshop was held at the zoo …

    Best place for politicians.

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  6. dubya (243 comments) says:

    Not listening to Iona Pannett sounds like the most sensible thing the council have ever done.

    I hope Mark Dunajtschik’s Harcourts building she has condemned to uselessness in the name of ‘heritage’ collapses on her smug and rather homely face.

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  7. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    This is a gold standard Council.

    As the Deputy Mayor said, “A storm in a tea cup.”

    Perhaps the media were looking for a story about the new Council and this is all they could find.

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  8. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    Are not Pannett and Ritchie supporters of the Green Taliban?

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  9. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    Presumably the workshop was in the Monkey House?

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  10. kowtow (8,755 comments) says:

    or the reptile house.

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  11. peterwn (3,303 comments) says:

    Hope they get their attendance money docked.

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  12. wikiriwhis business (4,115 comments) says:

    ‘Presumably the workshop was in the Monkey House?’

    Obviously, since a death has made room in the monkey house.

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  13. Grendel (1,003 comments) says:

    DPF is surprised that Pannett walked out, i’m not. Pannett is a green and making a fuss so you can get noticed is what greens do.

    i imagine the discussion did not have enough kowtowing to taniwha, or a commitment go Gaia or something else entirely pointless.

    in however many years she has been at the trough has pannett achieved anything to justify her salary other than keep getting elected?

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  14. ex-golfer (166 comments) says:

    @Grendel
    No, she has not achieved anything.
    A good achievement would be Pannett walking out for good.
    Unlikely for a lifetime trougher.

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  15. Nigel Kearney (1,047 comments) says:

    You are all missing the point. People walking out and the council not getting stuff done is the best we can hope for. Nothing good can come of socialists discussing things amicably and making lots of decisions.

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  16. Peter (1,723 comments) says:

    Iona Pannett walking out should be a requirement of each and every meeting.

    Council should pass that requirement, if they can stay in one room long enough to finish a meeting.

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  17. Rich Prick (1,721 comments) says:

    “Perhaps the media were looking for a story about the new Council and this is all they could find.”

    Heh, yeah. Tame by Auckland standards.

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  18. alwyn (438 comments) says:

    I have heard an explanation for Pannet’s walkout.
    She apparently wanted to all the councillors to put down prayer mats facing the direction of the sunrise.
    They were going to have to, while spreadeagled on the floor, call out fifty times the Green mantra of “Gaia Akbar” or Gaia is great.
    When the other Councillors refused to do this, and then refused to sing 20 choruses of Kumbaya, she walked out.

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  19. wreck1080 (3,956 comments) says:

    “including back in the 1970s or 1980s”

    Theres your problem, can’t get a real job.

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  20. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Hopefully these two socialists will keep walking, they would not be missed. Typical of the leeches that are elected by non-ratepaying lefties.

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  21. hane (69 comments) says:

    Another council beatup by the craptacular Dom Post. Can’t believe anything you read in this paper about the WCC unfortunately – they’re so out of touch with the city they even picked Morrison for a winner.

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  22. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    @hane – The whole Morrison cracked me up. As if Wellingtonians would ever elect that fucknuckle.

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  23. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    S. Smith: Fucknuckle would be a term too good to describe a leeching, taxpayer-funded loser such as you. Morrison has class, something a left-wing bludger would be devoid of. You would be typical of the non-ratepaying leech who votes for a the fiscally dyslexic left, hoping to sate your envious desires at the expense of those that work.

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  24. wikiriwhis business (4,115 comments) says:

    ‘Freeloading spongers’ in council

    …I’m sure most people aren’t terribly shocked by the city council credit card spending revelations, exposed in The Press on Saturday.

    But I’m still incensed. Deeply incensed that ratepayers are being rogered by faceless bureaucrats who fritter away public money on personal fripperies and workmate fancies, whether it be skinny soy lattes, celebratory gifts for staff giving birth, the obligatory booze-up that lubricates the launch of a council initiative, and the $1000 bar tabs for staff quiz nights. (As an aside, why are so many council shindigs held at the Elevate Bar?)

    It’s all very well to cover the hospitality tab for visiting dignitaries like the Adelaide mayor, but replenishing the staff lolly jar on the public tit? Slap me now.

    Issuing 450 senior council staff with purchasing credit cards was a lavish invitation for trouble. But what about the noddies in charge of monitoring? Why were they asleep at the wheel as the spending breaches ran riot? Were they too busy organising their own staff piss-up

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/mike-yardley/9335640/Freeloading-spongers-in-council

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  25. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    If the Dom Post had journalists, it would have interviewed Helene Ritchie and outed her for the deranged hysterical dangerous figure she is. She is an attention seeking hyperbole dealer, who has done pretty much nothing other than be destructive in the decades she has been in Wellington local government. She gets elected because of name recognition, but she isn’t fit to run a bath let alone make decisions on council policy and bylaws. I can’t begin to imagine how anyone would seek to buy the services of this lunatic for psychological help, given her own publicly recorded behaviour is not a pathway to success – except of course, the flaccid media has largely ensured she has name recognition.

    I seem to remember Helene Ritchie opposing Wellington Airport being made into a company, because she thought it would delay construction of a new terminal, yet it resulted in one being built in the quickest time (unlike Council control which dithered).

    Pannett staying away from Council is good for everyone.

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