Hurrell: Five terms are enough

Te Awamutu Community Board member Richard Hurrell will walk away from local body politics in October.

He has decided not to stand for a sixth term – and revealed he is not happy with how the community board has been operating.

Richard Hurrell

Hurrell is the only sitting member not to indicate he will stand again – Gary Derbyshire resigned during the term and there are a total of five seats available.

“The last time there was only five of us, so it was not an election, everybody just got the job. I would not like to see that happen again but trying to get the community involved is quite difficult at the moment,” he said.

Hurrell told The News he is not happy with the community board’s response to Three Waters and water fluoridation.

In July, community board members Ange Holt, Kane Titchener and Jill Taylor supported a submission to council that called water fluoridation a health risk.

Hurrell did not support the submission at the time and councillors Susan O’Regan and Lou Brown did not participate in the submission process.

“I wasn’t aware of the submission until it had already been put in… I commented on it and those comments weren’t considered.”

Last week Titchener made a similar submission to council and was backed by over 50 anti-fluoride proponents while doing so.

Hurrell said he was not impressed with Titchener’s actions but “that is what it (community boards) is about, you get a bunch of different people together.”

Hurrell has been on the area committee for St John for several years and says he will continue to focus on it after he leaves local politics.

Elections look certain in both the Te Awamutu Community Board and on the council’s Te Awamutu-Kihikihi Ward, as more nominations than available seats have been submitted prior to nominations closing at noon tomorrow (Friday).

The community board met for the first time since June on Tuesday.

In her chairperson’s report, Holt raised concern over the height of the new ‘air force bridge’ that was installed in War Memorial Park.

She said the approach height of the bridge was not determined prior to its construction.

“I do find this lack of planning and a let’s wait and see approach a little concerning for this project,” she said.

She also criticised the council for not communicating updates of the War Memorial Park upgrade to the community board.

She said the council approved the park’s concept plan despite the board’s request to be informed of any plan changes or updates to the park.

“I was under the understanding that we would have the opportunity to see and approve these (plans) before they were started.”

An update to Who Are We Te Awamutu survey was given also, 670 people have completed the survey to date, an increase of more than 250 from when The News last reported it on July 7.

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