Police were called to escort a man from a Tasman District Council meeting in Richmond on Thursday for disorderly behaviour after he ignored repeated requests from mayor Richard Kempthorne to sit down.
Golden Bay resident Reg Turner was speaking in the public forum at the start of the meeting when he exceeded the three minute time limit allocated to public speakers. The mayor informed Reg that his allocated time was up and asked him to sit down but Reg refused saying he only needed a short time to finish his statement.
After Reg ignored repeated requests to stop, Richard informed him that police would be called and adjourned the meeting while the police were summoned. Two police officers arrived about 15 minutes later and escorted Reg out of the council chamber after he had been issued with a trespass notice by council chief executive Lindsay McKenzie.
Reg, who owns the Song of the Tui Lodge in Golden Bay, was speaking to council about their decision to stop him erecting a sign directing tourists to the lodge on the Mackay Pass Rd. He told councillors he had driven six hours to speak at the public forum and that Richard was being unreasonable adhering to the three minute limit.
Golden Bay councillor Martine Bouillir supported Reg’s stance, saying he should have been allowed to finish.
“Reg came a long way to speak to council and enforcing the three minute time limit was being excessively bureaucratic” – she also says she asked the mayor before the meeting to give Reg a little longer to speak.