As of Friday, 11 June, Councillor Rick Barker, as former vice-chair, is acting chair of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
The Local Government Act empowers Barker to hold all the powers and undertake all the duties of the chair once it becomes vacant until the next meeting of Council, when the replacement chair must be elected.
Rex Graham’s resignation precipitates a by-election in the Hastings ward, which will be conducted in the next few months. HBRC chief executive James Palmer is required to formally advise the electoral officer of the vacancy created by Rex’s resignation and from this point an election is required within 89 days.
The associated timetable — nominations filed, ballots mailed, etc — yet to be officially indicated.
But by roughly mid-September a new Hastings ward councillor will be elected and sworn in.