Kelly Stratford confirmed as Deputy Mayor

Published on 27 October 2022

Kelly Stratford 19 Oct_cropped.jpg

Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward Councillor Kelly Stratford was officially appointed Deputy Mayor during today’s inaugural meeting of the newly elected Far North District Council.

The appointment was a technical procedure confirming what was already widely known. Under the Local Government Act 2002, the mayor can directly appoint the deputy mayor or can also ask councillors to elect the deputy. In this case, Mayor Moko Tepania had already announced his preference for Councillor Stratford to become his deputy shortly after his election was confirmed on 14 October.

Deputy Mayor Kelly Stratford has served as the Kawakawa-Moerewa representative on the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board and was elected to council in 2018 to represent the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward. As a councillor, she has held a number of roles, including Chairperson of the Regulatory Compliance Committee.

Today’s council meeting also appointed general ward councillors to each of the district’s three community boards. The aim is to enable better communication between the boards and councillors, and to give councillors an opportunity to better understand the advocacy role performed by the boards. The appointments were supported unanimously by councillors. They are:

  • Ann Court – Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board
  • John Vujcich – Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board
  • Felicity Foy – Te Hiku Community Board.

These councillors will be sworn in as board voting members during the next community board meetings.

Deputy Mayor Kelly Stratford told councillors she has asked for clarification from Local Government New Zealand about the Local Government Act 2002, which is unclear on whether Māori ward councillors can also be appointed to community boards. She said that while this would be the council’s preference, the wording of the Act only refers to general ward councillors.

Mayor Tepania said the intention will be to rotate councillor membership of community boards throughout the triennium.