Gore Council present united front following failed mayor ousting

They may roll their Rs but they can't roll their mayor. Now Gore's council has put aside its differences and agreed to present a united front after months of turmoil. 

But New Zealand's youngest-ever Mayor, Ben Bell, still has one bridge to build - mending the non-existent relationship with Chief Executive Stephen Parry.

It may be grey and dreary on Wednesday in Gore but the clouds shrouding the District Council are lifting. 

"I'm just really happy that common sense has prevailed and we can get back to running the place as we should," a local said.

"Give him a chance and he's learning," another said.

"It'll hopefully sort itself out but well keep our fingers crossed," said a third.

This is what locals wanted to hear on Tuesday. They turned up in droves to the extraordinary meeting to put the pressure on and be heard. 

After months of discord, a relationship breakdown between the Mayor and CEO, and councillors asking the Mayor to resign, it came to a head. The differences were put aside and the heart of the council, the community it serves, was back at the centre. 

The meeting was done in under half an hour, then the normal monthly council meeting got underway. 

Both parties played nice but it will take time for everyone to bed in.

Council will write to Local Government New Zealand and Taituara asking for help with the terms of reference for an independent review to restore confidence in the council. 

The Mayor and councillors are talking to each other - but not the media, refusing interviews again on Wednesday. And there's one matter yet to be dealt with - the fractured relationship between the Chief Executive and the Mayor.

They weren't speaking before Wednesday and haven't spoken since.

But Stephen Parry has surely heard Gore's voice.

More than 4000 people signed a petition supporting Mayor Bell and asking for CEO Stephen Parry to resign. That petition has been presented to the council and will be tabled at next month's meeting.