Clark to stay deputy mayor after rescinding resignation

    Invercargill Deputy Mayor Nobby Clark. Photo: File

    LESS than a week after resigning as Invercargill’s deputy mayor, Nobby Clark is back in the role.

    Cr Clark announced his resignation from the position, saying he wanted more freedom to advocate for ratepayers.

    However, Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt told the Southland Express on Wednesday he convinced Cr Clark to stay in the role until the end of the term.

    ‘‘Following the surprise announcement of Nobby’s resignation last week, I had asked Nobby to take some time to reevaluate his notice.

    ‘‘At my request, Nobby has given the matter some time and consideration and has agreed to withdraw his resignation.’’

    Sir Tim said they both shared the same concerns regarding council and they planned to
    tackle it together.

    ‘‘We agree that there are several key issues which require particular focus, the successful conclusion of the Southland disAbility Enterprises contract, the final museum project development and the best rates solution for ratepayers.

    ‘‘Nobby and I want the issues to be the focus for the final six months of this term, not the political aspirations of certain councillors.’’

    Cr Clark said the pressure from some of his colleagues had led him to make the decision of resigning.

    ‘‘Initially I was subject to a bit of pressure from some of my colleagues who were unhappy with the position I was taking on some issues.

    ‘‘They believed it was not compatible for the deputy mayor role so I felt in good faith that I should step down to advocate for the things which worried me.’’

    However, he was pleased Sir Tim had asked him to reconsider his decision.

    ‘‘He said that every elected member should advocate for what they believe the community wants and the [deputy mayor] position shouldn’t be subject to it.’’

    Cr Clark raised with him he was often a minority voice at the council table and he wanted to feel more comfortable to express his views.

    ‘‘He said that is what democracy was based on… Sir Tim said to me in his political career
    he often feels he was swimming against the tide and he expected me to do this going forward.’’

    Cr Clark was pleased that even though the job would add more stress in his life, he would be able to support the city and advocate for the things he believed in.

    It included the new Southland Museum & Art Gallery, the proposed increase in rates and a controversial recycling contract. However, he rejected any idea of standing for council at October’s local body election.

    ‘‘I have a longer list than that but I can’t recreate the world so I decided to focus in those three main things for now.’’