Citing a lack of pressing issues to discuss, Mayor Barbara Arnott today announced that the Napier City Council will not meet officially until 2008 … “sometime after the grapes are picked” were her exact words to this reporter.

“However,” she added, “we will have an official swearing-in of freshly elected councillors, possibly as early as this month, just in case we’re hit by a tsunami and need to make some emergency decisions. Plus, it really means a lot to the councillors and their loved ones to make them “official” by Christmas, so they can buy a few extra prezzies.”

Behind the scenes, it is rumoured that a secret staff task force has been meeting at the direction of CEO Neil Taylor in an effort to conjure up some issues for Council to play with. But apparently all they’ve come up with so far is a proposal to breed polar bears at Marineland. Attention has now shifted to identifying issues vexing Napier’s Chinese sister city, Lianyungang, which the Council might address as a goodwill gesture.

Our source suggested that councillors are concerned that residents of Napier might get the impression that they don’t even need a Council, just a Mayor. To which Mayor Arnott commented, “No comment.”

Friends of Mayor Arnott say she is actually quite envious of colleague Lawrence Yule. She was heard to complain: “Mayor Yule has plenty of problems on his hands, but he’s hogging them all for himself.”

Indeed, BayBuzz has learned that Editor Louis Pierard of Hawke’s Bay Today, finding Napier “duller even than Wairoa,” has decided to re-assign his Napier reporter to more in-depth coverage of wool-shearing competitions around the Bay.

BayBuzz will keep its ear to the ground in Napier … we need to be there to cover the Regional Council anyway. Don’t hesitate to call us if you find an issue, Mayor Arnott.


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