Tributes paid to long-standing New Plymouth councillor who died days earlier than native authorities election

Councillor Mike Merrick died earlier this week.


Councillor Mike Merrick died earlier this week.

Tributes have been paid to long-standing New Plymouth councillor Mike Merrick, who died earlier this week.

At Thursday’s closing council assembly, many individuals attended to pay their respects to Merrick, who served a complete of 4 phrases on New Plymouth District Council, and was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal within the 2019 New 12 months’s Honours for providers to the New Plymouth neighborhood.

“An incredible totara has fallen within the forest of Tane,” mayor Neil Holdom advised the assembly.

Holdom mentioned when Merrick spoke he was clear, entertaining, compelling, considerate, well-researched and “he was all the time appearing in the perfect pursuits of the neighborhood”.

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Merrick’s neighborhood involvement spanned practically 30 years, beginning on the Board of Trustees on Fitzroy Faculty.

He was the deputy chair of the Atmosphere and Planning Committee and the North Taranaki SPCA, the secretary of the Taranaki Heritage Belief, a member of the Human Sources Committee, labored with the Honeyfield Basis, was the supervisor of the New Plymouth Meals Financial institution, and a biographer for the Taranaki Hospice.

Councillor Gordon Brown additionally shared ideas on behalf of those that couldn’t attend, together with former mayor Peter Tennant, and mentioned: “Mike cared about this neighborhood and people who selected to make it their residence.”

Brown mentioned it was acceptable to say goodbye to Merrick within the council chamber, as he had spent 12 of the final 21 years there, having served from 1998 to 2007 and from 2016. 

“It exhibits what the neighborhood considered him.”

Anecdotes have been additionally advised, together with about Merrick’s beloved cat Dingle.

Former deputy mayor Heather Dodunski advised how Merrick promised to help her mayoral marketing campaign, and at one level dressed himself and daughter Katherine in bear costumes and waved election indicators.

“Some individuals come into your lives and rapidly go away. Some individuals come into our lives, contact our hearts, and our lives are by no means the identical. Mike touched my coronary heart, and I’ll bear in mind him perpetually.”

New Plymouth police senior sergeant Allan Whaley additionally paid tribute to Merrick’s time within the police, saying he was a person of integrity and a excessive work ethic.