Sunday, April 14, 2024

Councillor pushes for IMSB powers on committee

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Auckland Council CEO Jim Stabback. Photo Auckland Council

By Laura Kvigstad, Auckland Council reporter

Funded by New Zealand on Air

Councillor Chris Darby expressed concerns around the curtailed participation of the Independent Māori Statutory Board.

The Independent Māori Statutory Board (IMSB) has voting rights on a large number of issues at Auckland Council with one or two seats usually allocated at any committee.

At an Extraordinary Governing Body meeting on November 17, members approved the terms of reference for committees but not before Cr Chris Darby raised the issue.

The terms of reference for the Performance and Appointments committee gave the IMSB equal participation for all the committees’ responsibilities except one; chief executive Jim Stabback’s quarterly performance review.

Cr Darby called on Mayor Wayne Brown to amend the terms of reference to ensure equal participation for the IMSB.

“We have always heard some disquiet from the IMSB on their lack of participation at the appointments committee when it came to discuss the chief executive’s performance,” Darby said.

“Is there a willingness to amend the terms of reference or the membership and participation of the IMSB so that they are full participants not part-timers at the appointments committee?” he asked.

Brown disputed Darby’s claim and said the IMSB were happy with the overall positioning for the committees.

“There is clear legislative requirements on both IMSB and us… they have requested a couple of things which we are not legally able to give them but we have a good relationship going on. You will just have to accept that,” Brown said.

Cr Darby later pushed for an amendment to the terms of reference again but was rebuffed.

“There is no question in my mind that (Stabback’s) performance part is treading with the management and stewardship of natural and physical resources… what is the legal reason for them to be excluded from (that) responsibility?” Darby asked.

Performance and Appointments committee chair Daniel Newman acknowledged the aspirations of the IMSB but said council needed to comply with legislation that protected the chief executive.

“The chief executive is entitled to the presumption that his appointment and the performance (review) of the chief executive will be conducted by his direct employers. His direct employers are the councillors and the mayor,” Newman said.

Chief executive Jim Stabback said the IMSB did not have to participate in the debate of his performance review at the committee in order to give input.

“It would be a matter for the governing body if it wished to seek input on my performance in relation to other stakeholders of which might be the chair of the IMSB,” Stabback said.

The terms of reference were unanimously voted in favour of by the members. Cr Darby and Cr Newman agreed to take discussions on the issue offline.

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