No date has been set yet for a by-election following the passing of Councillor Gail McIntosh.
Mayor Greg Brownless says they have chosen to hold off setting a by-election date, partly out of respect for the family.
“I imagine it will be advertised next month probably. Because even if they could do it now it’s a time when people are away.
“It’s just been a matter of trying to be respectful to her and the family. Not being too quick, but also not being too slow either.”
Gail McIntosh, a second term councillor, died on January 4. Her memorial service was held last week.
The law, the Local Electoral Act 2001, requires a by-election to be held if a vacancy occurs in a local authority 12 months before the next triennial general election, which is due on October 12, 2019.
“There definitely will be a by election, probably notified in February,” says Greg.
“I think it’s all laid down by some sort of timing. It’s got to be advertised, you allow whatever number of weeks for people to put their nominations in, and then there’s another time for the rolls to be updated and then they post the ballots out. I think it’s exactly the same time frame I believe, as a normal election.”
Gail was elected at large, so the by-election for her replacement will be across the city.
If the voting takes place in April the new city councillor will be elected before the Long Term Plan hearings.
“It would be important to my mind that whoever is elected can hear the Long Term Plan,” says Greg.