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Thames-Coromandel Mayor Len Salt stands by his F-bomb, saying he’s pushing back against council-aimed abuse. FILE PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

New mayor to build ‘culture of kindness’

Thames-Coromandel’s new mayor has adorned the authoritative chains and chaired a meeting for the first time – now he wants the rest of the country to know his council is best.
Mayor Len Salt was sworn in for service alongside his elected councillors and community board members at an inaugural meeting held at Thames Civic Centre on November 2.
Wearing a kākahu [Māori cloak] made by Mercury Bay Community Board member Bess Kingi, Mayor Salt said now was the time to put any differences behind them.
“I’ve committed to supporting and fostering a work culture within council based on unlocking the talents and abilities of every single one of our team.
“A culture based on kindness, professionalism, and a passion for what we do,” he said.
“I want the rest of the country to know that Thames-Coromandel is the best council in New Zealand to work in, and the best place in New Zealand to live.”
In attendance was Coromandel MP Scott Simpson, who congratulated the elected members but gave them advice – only after encouraging council’s senior staff to block their ears.
“Elected members will be, I’m sure, inducted and given advice about the roles and obligations under the Local Government Act and conflicts of interest… but please never, ever let that be an inhibitor or a roadblock to you engaging constructively and positively and welcomingly with the people who have elected you.”
Mr Simpson said being a councillor or community board member was a “privilege and an honour” and was something many people didn’t acknowledge as well as they could.
“Make every day count and remember – you’re not there forever.”
Following the formalities, South East ward councillor Terry Walker was appointed deputy mayor. He said he was very honoured, and looked forward to the challenges ahead, while also having “some fun”.
The full council was scheduled to meet again on November 8.