Retiring Elected Members’ Valedictory Speeches

Published on 04 October 2022

Colin Wollstein Bill Kingan Melanie Tavendale.JPG

Today marked the final Council meeting for the triennium which also marked the final Council meeting for retiring Elected Members who are standing down:  Deputy Mayor Melanie Tavendale (Ōamaru Ward), Councillor Bill Kingan (Corriedale Ward), Councillor Colin Wollstein (Ōamaru Ward) and Vicky Munro (Ahuriri Community Board Chair).

If you missed their speeches, recordings are available on Waitaki District Council’s YouTube channel as part of Council’s regular broadcast of meetings and available as a recording after the event. The Valedictory Speeches will also be included in full in the Public Minutes of the Council Meeting.

Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher acknowledged that having three Councillors retire at an election is not uncommon but having all of them retire after serving nine years each, all three being chairs of our main committees and members of our Executive Committee, is!

A few quotes from Mayor Gary Kircher’s Report (Agenda Item 5.1) at Council today.

Deputy Mayor Melanie Tavendale
“Mel, you have been a valued Deputy and awesome colleague over the past nine years. Although I have joked once or twice that you could agree with me slightly more than you have, you have been good at reminding me about what I should be doing, and as importantly, how I should do it. When you have stood in for me over the past six years as Deputy Mayor, I have appreciated that you have done it well and represented Council very positively.”

Councillor Bill Kingan
“Your quiet but considered manner has served us all well, Bill. If we were ever getting carried away on any issue, you could always be counted on to bring us back to reality with some well-timed words of wisdom. You have been a very reliable and effective Assets Committee Chair, working diligently and being a very good Chair for both of us as elected members and for staff in the assets group.”

Councillor Colin Wollstein
“Thank you for your service and support, Colin. Having you head up the Performance, Audit and Risk Committee for the past nine years has been excellent. Many Councils would struggle to have accounting skills sitting at the table, but we have been lucky to have had that with you. You brought a range of decision-making skills to the table, in particular the ability to look for opportunities and to pass a financial lens over the issues at hand.”

Vicky Munro, Ahuriri Community Board Chair
We also farewell Vicky Munro, Ahuriri Community Board Chair, and dedicated advocate for the Ahuriri Ward since the 2014 By-Election.

Chief Executive Alex Parmley said, “On behalf of the Council, I would like to thank Vicky for her commitment and service to the Ahuriri Community and Waitaki District as a whole. Vicky has championed the needs of the Ahuriri ward and its communities over her time on the Board and this has resulted in investment, improvements, and support for many community groups in the area.”

Councillor Ross McRobie
Councillor Ross McRobie (Ahuriri Ward) sadly passed away late last year. Last Sunday saw the unveiling of a commemorative picnic bench at Otematata Wetlands, one of Ross’ favourite spots, paid for and attended by the Councillors.  

Alex Parmley said, “Ross McRobie was in all our thoughts at today’s Council meeting. The new commemorative picnic bench is a fitting memorial for Ross due to his love of the area.”

Council would like to thank each Elected Member for their unwavering commitment in their service to both their wards and the Waitaki district for the last three election periods.