Mayor Lawrence Yule has been elected to a three-year term as President of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), winning the post 151-83 over Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast. The post, which must be held by an elected official, is effective immediately.

Apparently we now have the choice of referring to Lawrence as either “Your Worship” or “Mr. President.”

Congratulations Mayor Yule!

BayBuzz has found some important matters on which to disagree strenuously with Mayor Yule, most notably his premature foreplay with Andy Lowe and resultant compromising position on Ocean Beach, and his due process-abusing promotion of the dubious regional sports park initiative.

But we have nothing but admiration for his formidable energy and capacity … something obviously recognised by his peers within LGNZ.

Now wearing two hats, the Mayor realises he makes himself vulnerable to charges that the electorate of Hastings District will get less mayoral commitment, leadership, careful attention and responsiveness than they bargained for.

To me this is only a speculative issue. Mayor Yule will have plenty of opportunities over the next two years or so to prove his critics right or wrong on that score. The proof will be in the pudding.

For our part, BayBuzz intends to take on the substantive issues of Hastings District as they come. We’ll advocate the merits as we see them … and Lawrence’s mayoral performance will be part of the equation. I hope and suspect that any future disagreements BayBuzz has with Mayor Yule will be over substantive priorities and issues, not his timecard or attention span.

Meantime, as Mayor Yule would say, “Welcome to politics, Kerry Prendergast!”


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