Botany by-election $100,000+

An elected member was sworn in at the Howick Local Board’s inaugural meeting on November 3, but stormed out and resigned moments later after missing out on being made chairwoman.

This means a by-election will be needed and will cost at least $100,000.

Eastern Courier: Botany by-election expected to cost more than $100,000

Lucy Schwaner was sworn in at the Howick Local Board’s inaugural meeting on November 3, but stormed out and resigned moments later after missing out on being made chairwoman.

Schwaner, the wife of Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, then took out a full-page ad in the local Eastern Courier newspaper attacking the board’s incumbent chairman David Collings.

Auckland Council said on Thursday that a by-election to fill Schwaner’s seat, in the Botany subdivision of the local board, was expected to cost more than $100,000.

A very expensive hissy fit.

Schwaner issued a statement on Thursday morning, saying she stands by her reasons for resigning. 

“It’s unfortunate there is a cost for appointing a replacement member of the Howick Local Board,” she says.

“However, the cost to the community is far greater if the Howick Local Board were allowed to continue unchecked and without its deep problems or poor leadership highlighted for the public.

“Leaving the Howick Local Board was the most honourable course of action, given I have no confidence in the leadership of David Collings. “

I don’t think it looks honourable at all – what about honouring the democratic process?

She ironically refers to ‘poor leadership’ – cutting and running is not exactly doing anything to keep a check on the local board.

Schwaner noted that Mike Turinsky was the highest-ranked unsuccessful candidate in the local board election.

The cost of a by-election could be avoided if other groups decided not to put a candidate forward and allowed Turinsky to fill the vacancy unchallenged, she said.

However, the council said there was no alternative under the Local Electoral Act but to run a by-election.

If Schwaner ever stands for election again voters should be very wary of her commitment.