Dickhead Mayor at it again

Peter Butler, Mayor of Central Hawkes Bay District Council, is out of control and clearly has anger issues.

Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Peter Butler has been called on to “have a break” from his council duties by one of his councillors, Andrew Watts.

The call has been supported by another Central Hawke’s Bay councillor, Terry Story.

The request comes as news emerges of an outburst from Mr Butler which resulted in him calling the police when a member of the public refused to leave the council building in Waipawa this month.

Hawke’s Bay Today was told of the incident last week, after the mayor grabbed the camera of one of the paper’s photographers and marched him back out of the council building on Monday, April 18.

Mr Butler did apologise for the latter incident.

Mr Watts said the fact that two similar outbursts from the mayor happened so close together was a sign of pressure.

“I think he needs a break. I actually told him … that he needs to put the deputy mayor in the chair for a while and go and have a break.”

He said by the same token Mr Butler, who is running for the mayoralty again, was going to have to consider his future.

So there was another incident of a similar nature.

Despite being asked repeatedly by Hawke’s Bay Today to comment on the latest incident and the call for him to take a break, Mr Butler declined to do so.

The incident happened on Friday, April 16 when Mr Watts arrived at the council for a pre-arranged appointment with Mr Butler to hand over submissions he had collected for the independent audit of the Building Consent Authority.

Expecting that issues might arise at the meeting, Mr Watts brought a witness along. However, he said the mayor would not allow the witness to be there, so a standoff ensued which ended with Mr Butler calling the police.

A police spokeswoman confirmed officers were called to the CHB council building last Friday for this reason.

Mr Watts said that, while the situation could have been handled a “100 different ways”, Mr Butler was “verbally very strong with [the witness]”.

“I don’t think that an elected representative with a young lawyer, who was there purely as witness, should have had to deal with what we dealt with,” he said.

“It is as simple as that.”

However, because of the standoff, the meeting did not transpire – Mr Watts said everything changed before there was any discussion.

“It turned to us having to pull out very quickly. Peter called the police and we left before they came,” he said.

Mr Watts said the mayor called the police because the witness would not leave.

“He immediately wanted my witness removed, he didn’t want her in the room,” he said.

As such, Mr Watts did not get to hand in his submissions to the audit that day.


Sounds like Peter Butler has anger issues. He certainly needs challenging at the elections this year.


-HB Today


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  • Seriously?

    It is an interesting situation. Maybe they should have waited and seen what the Police made of it.

    On its face, I would be surprised if the Mayor had any authority to ask a member of the public to leave the Council building. I expect that is a power that rests with the Chief Executive. It might be different if they were in the Mayor’s office, but even then… the office does not belong to him.

    You kinda get the feeling there is more to this story and meets the eye.

  • Dave

    There must be something in the water in Central Hawkes Bay causing all these issues, perhaps they need a new Dam somewhere.