Gore Mayor Ben Bell became the county’s youngest mayor when he was elected at 23 last year.
The Gore District Council is on the path to government intervention, a local government academic says.
Gore Mayor Ben Bell and council chief executive Stephen Parry are no longer on speaking terms after attempting mediation in December.
The council this week voted to initiate an independent review into the dysfunction at the council so solutions to restore confidence in the body could be brought to councillors.
It was described by Parry as “a cry for help politically”.
Local government academic Dr Andy Asquith of Curtin University said there were clear parallels between the dysfunction at Gore District Council and other territorial authorities such as Invercargill City Council and Tauranga City Council – where first-term mayor Tenby Powell resigned in 2020 and commissioners had been in place since.
“There needs to be a fundamental shift in the position of the mayor and the CEO.
Following the council meeting on Tuesday – the first since it was publicly revealed the pair were not speaking – both men indicated they were sticking to their guns.
“That’s a recipe for disaster,” Dr Asquith said.
The first six months of this triennium had been plagued by controversies for the Gore District Council.