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Yes, it's 2013 and we're celebrating!
Long career with council concludes
A new chord: Maureen Bell retired from the council after more than a
quarter of a century.
By CAROLYN VEEN
Gone, retired, redundant'', is how
Maureen Bell describes the end of
her 26 years working for the
Napier City Council.
I finished as the mayor's execu-
tive assistant on a memorable
date (12/12/12) after a restructur-
ing in the chief executive's depart-
ment,'' said Mrs Bell, who admit-
ted she was looking forward to a
life of leisure, for a while anyway.
My husband Charlie and I love
travelling and we plan to do that
a lot more now.''
In recent years at the council
she worked in a job-share situ-
ation, on a part-time basis.
It was great, because not only
did it allow for staff relief-cover on
tap, but it also allowed me to ease
into golf, a healthier lifestyle and
Mrs Bell had served the city
under three mayors, three chief
executives and numerous council-
In my days in the secretariat,
there were more and longer meet-
ings and agendas, but back then
the council dealt with the
minutiae like how much was
spent on stationery, rather than
at the long-term strategic and
financial planning level.
But the biggest change is the
impact of technology, from basic
computers and manual diaries to
electronic mail and calendars
which, by the time I left, the work-
load would have doubled at the
very least because of it.''
What had not changed was that
councils remained subject to
legislative whim'' of the political
party in power, with all the asso-
ciated staff implications'' and
consequent financial costs.
Rates increases, I wonder
On the amalgamation issue,
Mrs Bell said she had been there
and bought the T-shirt''.
I remember the polarisation
that it created back in 1989
between the people and the cities;
and guess what, here we go again.
Ratepayers are already ben-
efiting from inter-city shared
services and regional organis-
ations, so if the proponents for
amalgamation are sincere in their
beliefs, then why aren't they con-
tributing within the current struc-
tures that are already in place?
The genuine ones already are,''
She believed amalgamation was
a individuality issue.
Newbies to the region call it
parochialism, but Bay people got
over that long ago; quite simply
it's about loving where you live.
In the free world, people resent
having decision-makers and mak-
ing forced upon them, so it's all
our responsibility to fight for and
ensure we preserve the quality of
life we cherish: Where the money
is spent, the community culture in
our streets, city, sports parks --
why would you give that away?''
Mrs Bell said she planned to
play more golf, travel abroad,
learn mah-jong and sing along
with her 11-strong ukulele group.
Napier Mayor Barbara Arnott
said the council was grateful for
Mrs Bell's work over the past 26
One of the things is Maureen's
dedication to the place that she
lives and her willingness to keep
working for the city and the peo-
ple of Napier,'' said Mrs Arnott.
Times gone by: Shakespeare Rd.
Charles Sorrell was born near
Bendigo, New South Wales, in
1855 and emigrated to New Zea-
land as a child, settling in Napier
From his photographic studio in
Dickens St, Sorrell captured
images of Napier before the 1931
earthquake, which have now been
brought together in a book ---
Charles Sorrell's Edwardian
Sarah Semple has collected the
photographs from family members
and researched her subject, pro-
viding a narrative for each of the
Taken as people went about
their everyday lives, Ms Semple
said that from a historical per-
spective, the photographs were
They are a record of the city
during the 19th and early 20th
centuries, showing events and
buildings as they used to be,
before Napier was destroyed by
earthquake and fire,'' she said.
It's also a way for us to see the
changes that came about after the
event, such as the picture of the
World War I memorial statue on
Marine Parade, which originally
faced the sea and was subsequen-
tly replaced on its pedestal facing
a different direction.
I found researching the book
fascinating and have tried to place
every photograph in its historical
perspective, writing descriptions
for each that I hope readers will
Charles Sorrell died in 1932,
leaving a photographic legacy
of a way of life for future genera-
tions. Edwardian Napier is avail-
able from Electric City Music in
Dalton St, or from Ms Semple at
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