News & Events

Council farewells three elected members

Monday October 7 2019

Palmerston North City Council bid farewell to three retiring Councillors today at its final meeting of the 2016-19 term.

Photo shows the three councillors who are retiring in the chamber for their final council meeting.

Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke, Jim Jefferies and Adrian Broad are standing down from Council.

Councillor Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke citation

Well-known in the business community and with a high community profile, business-owner Gabrielle Bundy-Cooke first stood for Council as one of nine candidates seeking the single vacant seat in the 2015 by-election.

As the second-highest polling by-election candidate, Gabrielle put her 2015 campaign experience to good use the following year during the regular triennial election cycle. With the byline: “I believe that if we support community, then community supports us”, the Milson Rotary Club member’s campaign was based around promoting pride and business in our city, while supporting diversity, innovation and collaboration.

This struck a chord with voters, and Gabrielle was elected to Council in October 2016 as the seventh highest polling candidate out of 28 on the ballot paper. One of four new Councillors, Gabrielle was keen to represent city business interests and address the business sector’s related concerns.

Gabrielle took on the Council portfolio for CBD and retail and was the lead spokesperson for the rural and villages portfolio, where she maintained a special interest in the affairs of Bunnythorpe. As a Committee of Council member, Gabrielle served on the Chief Executive's performance review panel, and five other committees – Arts, Culture & Heritage; Audit & Risk; Community Development; Economic Development; and Finance & Performance. She also represented Council on Local Government Zone 3 for Central New Zealand.

Given the formality of the Council environment, and the increasing workload and responsibilities facing Councillors, Gabrielle’s commitment to her role while also running a successful and busy business, was truly commendable. In the light of this, Gabrielle’s carefully considered decision to step aside, while regretted, is understandable and fully respected, while her approach, methods, perspectives and personality will be missed around the Council table.

Now, armed with an inside knowledge of Council procedures and civic processes, I’m sure Gabrielle will continue making a contribution to the city through her business activities and community connections. Gabrielle, we wish you and your business endeavours every success.

Councillor Adrian Broad citation

Business and community are also intertwined in Adrian Broad’s profile. For more than 30 years, Adrian has been tirelessly involved in the commercial activities and community interests of Palmerston North City.

His career includes nine years as General Manager of The Manawatu Standard, eight years as Chief Executive of Arohanui Hospice, and then as Manager of the Manawatu Horowhenua Tararua Diabetes Trust. A member of the Rotary Club of Palmerston North, he served on many voluntary and community organisations including Across Social Services, Phoenix Disability Employment Services, Supergrans Mentoring and of course, one of his favourites, the Manawatū Racing Club.

In 2013 Adrian’s interest in health and well-being saw him elected to the MidCentral District Health Board. He earned a second term in 2016 and was Deputy Chair of MidCentral’s Healthy Communities Committee, and of Enable New Zealand.

First elected to Council in 2004, Adrian stood down for the 2007 election, but returned to the Council table in 2010, and was re-elected again in 2013. In 2016, Adrian achieved his fourth term on Council and was the fourth-highest polling candidate.

His re-election slogan was as ‘simple as ABC’, which stood for ‘Adrian Broad Councillor’. He based the campaign around his record of active community service, alongside advocacy for business attraction and retention, and for furthering local employment opportunities and jobs.

No surprises then that after the election, Adrian chaired Council's New Economic Development Committee, and served as lead spokesperson for the Employment Portfolio. As a Committee of Council member, Adrian also contributed to Audit & Risk; Economic Development; Finance & Performance; Arts, Culture & Heritage; and Sport & Recreation.

One of Adrian’s enduring legacies will be his ongoing advocacy for the annual regional Sort It Careers Expo.

Adrian took personal interest in young people and their employment opportunities. This single-day expo showcased learning, training and career possibilities that provides students, graduates, new residents and job-seekers with essential connections to employers, educators and training providers. With buy-in from city, Manawatū District and Horizons Regional Councils, as well as from CEDA, universities, technical institutes and industry training organisations, it has grown to be one of the biggest regional expos of its type in New Zealand, with more than 70 exhibitors and more than 5,000 visitors.

In 2018, Sort It was a finalist in the LGNZ Excellence Awards for Best Local Government Event.

In 2016 Adrian championed the City of Palmerston North Racing Festival which saw the three codes of racing combine with public activation events and concerts giving Palmerston North and the wider region their version of a Melbourne Cup. The festival is now in its fourth year, has attracted thousands and over half a million dollars in economic return each year.

Congratulations Adrian on your achievements, and thank you for your service, your diligence, your attention to Council business, and for your tireless promotion of this city and its surrounding region as a place for business, investment and recreational opportunities. Adrian, we wish you every good fortune, and the good health to enjoy it as you commence a new chapter in your life.

Councillor Jim Jefferies citation

Elected to Council 21 years ago in 1998, Jim Jefferies is the longest-serving representative at this table, and has served Council under five Mayors – Jill White, Mark Bell-Booth, Heather Tanguay, Jono Naylor and Grant Smith.

Jim had apparently attracted some attention before he was elected for proposing that Palmerston North should be renamed Manawatū City to better reflect its identity. It was an idea he revisited briefly in 2013 during his second stint as Deputy Mayor. In his seven terms, the man who was dubbed "the wise elder statesman of the Council Chamber" has served the city on Council in just about every possible capacity, undertaking a wide variety of committee work. As well as twice being Deputy Mayor, Jim’s Council career includes four months as Acting Mayor in the lead-up to the 2015 by-election.

By trade, a chartered accountant with decades of public practice under his belt, Jim has enjoyed associations and directorships with numerous companies, including Ernst & Young and Centreport. He is Deputy Chair of Crest Hospital after contributing to the merger of Aorangi and Southern Cross Hospitals to create the new entity, and operates his own company, Jim Jefferies Limited. An Accredited Fellow of the Institute of Directors (AFIOD), Jim was awarded a Fellowship by Chartered Accountants New Zealand Australia in 2002, and in 2007 was awarded a Fellowship by the Institute of Directors in NZ.

In the 90s when the Manawatū Chamber of Commerce went into recess, Jim was instrumental in setting up and leading the City Council-sponsored Manawatū Commerce Centre, which eventually morphed back into a reconstituted and independent Chamber. Also in the 90s, Jim became heavily involved in the $13-million Regent renovation project as Chair of the Theatre Restoration Fundraising Committee.

He chaired the committee that oversaw the development of the theatre following its restoration, and then served as a member and as a Chair of the Regent Theatre Trust Board. He has every right to be proud that his efforts have contributed to a wonderful, well-used, iconic and highly cherished city asset. The Regent on Broadway celebrated its rebirth 20th anniversary in 2018, and last month at the Trust Board’s AGM, Jim was acknowledged alongside other Regent stalwarts Maurice Rowe and Pat Snoxell for helping make the theatre such a successful venture.

Health and wellbeing was another of Jim’s abiding interests, and in 2004, he began serving the first of two terms on the MidCentral District Health Board.

Just shy of a decade later, during his 2016 re-election campaign, Jim grabbed headlines for his disclaimer about not being Jim Jefferies, the Australian stand-up comedian, actor, and writer who was planning a tour of New Zealand at the time, and had posters everywhere.

Jim based his re-election strategy around paying attention to the basics, warning voters “not to be distracted by ‘fluffy’ things on the edges”. He underlined this approach with the public meeting quote: "We must make sure you can drink the water and that when you flush the toilet, it will go to the right place."

It was enough to secure another Council term, and Jim’s corporate, civic and community dedication was recognised a couple of months later with a Queen's Service Medal in the 2017 New Year Honours list for services to local government, health, theatre and the business community.

During what proved to be his last term in Council, Jim has been lead spokesperson for both the Cultural, and the Health & Wellbeing Portfolios, and served as Deputy Chair for the Arts, Culture & Heritage, as well as Finance & Performance committees. As a Committee of Council member he served on the Manawatū District-Palmerston North City Strategic Planning Committee; Planning & Strategy; Audit & Risk; and Sport & Recreation.

Jim, you have been an outstanding servant of, and advocate for the people, businesses, enterprises and organisations of Palmerston North. We have greatly benefited from your financial acumen and your practical wise common-sense approach to Council business, and we can only hope that we can find others who bring to the table similar attributes and levels of expertise. All the very best Jim, and we are grateful and thank you.