Meeting attendances challenged

Using meeting attendances as a measure of a Tauranga City Councillor’s worth is being challenged by councillor Tony Christiansen, who comes in at the bottom of this year’s list.

The list records councillors’ attendances at public meetings – but not at the workshops and working party meetings where a lot of the council’s work is done. It’s been used as a measure of councillors’ work. The figures were published this week.

Councillor Tony Christiansen is challenging how meeting attendances are used to measure a councillors worth.

“I’m on seven different committees in council and that’s something people don’t see,” says Tony.

Tony sits on seven working groups and task forces working on things such as the Greerton Library, central city hotel development, the harbour marine precinct and waterfront development.

“Those things don’t get reported,” says Tony.

“They’re not on council’s list of public meetings, and there are councillors there who do nothing else, that’s it. That’s all they do. Yet they are on half the committees I’m on, and of course they can attend 100 per cent because they don’t do anything else.”

His other issue with using meeting attendance as a measure of a councillor’s work is that there are meetings like the Projects and Monitoring meeting held on Monday where not one resolution was passed.

“That was a recorded meeting, but whether I was there or not would have made no difference whatsoever. It wasn’t a voting meeting, and how many times a year does that happen - quite often.

“If you wanted to look at the meetings, the issue meetings are the ones where I make sure I’m there.”

The other reason Tony’s has not attended as many meetings is his job as a motivational speaker, and the fact he’s had to take time out to be with elderly parents this year.

He books months ahead for the speaking circuit, trying to avoid clashes with council meeting dates, but finds that they can change unexpectedly.

“I do most of my speaking engagements on the weekends and I organise my dairy as best can. The odd time I have been stuck in Australia because I can’t get a flight, or something stupid’s happened - and I miss a meeting on Monday.

“I only actually missed four meetings last year through speaking engagements.”

He has also missed meetings due to his trip to Canada to undertake bobsled training for the Para-Olympics bobsled team, in which he will be competing in 2018.

“At the end of the day I just want people to understand that I’m passionate about it (being on council) and I’m just doing do the best job that I can,” says Tony.

“A lot of people say ‘why do you bother?’ but I funnily enough, I do enjoy it.

“I think one of the important things for me is it gives me a grounding. I can go away on a speaking engagement and be talking to 10,000 people. I can inspire ten thousand people and have them standing on their seats.

“Then I go into the dark clouds of the council with eleven other people. It’s like beating my head against a brick wall, such negativity some times, and I don’t want to be like them.”

Rick Curach and Bill Grainger scored 100 per cent on attendance, with Rick at 79 out of 79 of his meetings and Bill at all 81 of his scheduled meetings.

The 99 per centers are David Stewart and Larry Baldock missing a meeting each; 82 of 83 for David and 84 of 85 for Larry.

Catherine Stewart and Bill Faulkner scored 98 per cent; 80 out of 82for Catherine and 87 out of 89 for Bill. Wayne Moultrie is at 96 per cent attending 76 out of 79 meetings.

Terry Molloy is at 95 per cent, with a meeting score of 81 out of 85, Murray Guy is also 95 per cent; meeting score 75 out of 79.

Mayor Stuart Crosby is at 92 per cent, attending 78 out of 85. Tony Christiansen 86 per cent, attending 66 out of 77 meetings.


Man up and face the facts

Posted on 15-03-2013 20:43 | By Investigator

Tony buddy you are like a spoilt kid spitting the dummy because no ifs and buts you have the worst attendance record of any Councillor.You were the highest polling candidate but you are not performing. Its a full time job or it should be and it is not up to other EMs to keep you posted.As for the other committee work you rabbit on about this relates to things that have or will cost TCC ratepayers serious money being none with merit sponsored by Loopy Larry or Billy Boy. We all know that their track records are not that crash hot either. Front up or ship out we don’t need any more seat warmers in City Hall.

seat warmers

Posted on 14-03-2013 19:22 | By Viking

Its abou being effective and seat warming is not any measure of that. That’s actually the problem these days. Full time seat warmers that have not much else to do, spend their days finding stuff to impose upon us suckers of rate payers, increasing the rates burden and imposing more rules, and restricitions to justify their own existence. We would be better off without them. After all we are told repeatedly by people like Faulkner that these councillors are the "board of directors" and that the CEO is the man in charge. I doubt the directors of much larger companies spend so much time seat warming. So really a waste of time to justify their pay.

re Crying all the way...

Posted on 14-03-2013 19:11 | By KiwiSteve

No, Tony is a good motivational speaker, as far as councillor, well, the jury is still out.

I'd be equally concerned

Posted on 14-03-2013 17:46 | By KiwiSteve

about elected members who don’t reply to citizens emails. OH, that also happens to be Tony Christianson.


Posted on 14-03-2013 17:26 | By PLONKER

Looks like to many to me, should be about 20-25pa. Tony talks about a meeting without a vote happening as a waste of time going to it and I would agree with that, in fact most meetings at TCC are a waste of time going on that as little of benefit to ratepayers seems to happen even when there is a vote.

Much done?

Posted on 14-03-2013 16:03 | By YOGI

Actually it is not about how many meeting are attended, it is about what is done or not. Seems the maximum time seat warmers at the top of the list don’t seem to have achieved a lot of benefit to ratepayers at all. yet they crow about how many meetings they went to. We all know meetings are all about "committees" and committees achieve very little indeed. That is what we actually see at TCC, so the lesson from that is the less meetings, the less that are attended then the less the mess at the end of it all.

Is he crying all the way to the bank?

Posted on 14-03-2013 15:55 | By Phailed

Tony Christiansen is paid a jolly good salary to be a councillor. Maybe he could donate his speaking engagement fees to Council as a way of repaying ratepayers?

What does it mean indeed

Posted on 14-03-2013 14:53 | By YOGI

Looks to me that the usual offenders mostly are high on the list as usual. This I believe has a direct connection to the results achieved for ratepayers, zilch!

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