Lakes Leisure chairman explains board resignation

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The former chairman of Lakes Leisure says its board had no choice but to quit after seeking legal advice into Queenstown council’s restructuring.

Peter Faul has moved to clarify his board’s actions following Friday’s announcement that all its members had resigned with immediate effect.

Faul says Queenstown Lakes District Council – which is taking council-controlled organisations Lakes Leisure and Lakes Environmental back in-house – notified the board that it required the directors to resign on April 12.

“More importantly,” Faul says, “council further advised that in the interim it wished to assume immediate control of the company.

“The board sought legal advice which confirmed the view it had already reached, that legally as directors it could not allow such to happen and the only way to allow council to assume control without breaching statutory duties was to resign, effective immediately.”

Council has appointed mayor Vanessa van Uden, its chief executive Adam Feeley and chief financial officer Stewart Burns as new directors of Lakes Leisure to manage the reintegration of activities back in-house.

“Council was able to and did take steps to put in place replacement directors, albeit ahead of schedule,” Faul says.

“As it had earlier indicated to council, the board was happy to co-operate in whatever way it could.

“The board believes its actions in resigning are consistent with this intention in light of council’s stated wishes.”

Faul and board members Wayne Evans, Jan Caunter, Mark Elliot and James Coddington have all stood down.

The day-to-day running will continue to be managed by Lakes Leisure’s management team.