Rimmington considering new ‘anti-three waters’ tilt at regional council headquarters

Russ Rimmington is continuing his legal action to reclaim his former post as regional councilor, although the case will not be heard until shortly before the next election (file).

Tom Lee / Stuff

Russ Rimmington is continuing his legal action to reclaim his former post as regional councilor, although the case will not be heard until shortly before the next election (file).

Former Waikato Regional Council chairman Russ Rimmington is seeking a judicial review of his ousting, even though legal developments mean he will only be able to get his old job back for a very short time.

He also plans to run for re-election with a team of others on an anti-Three Waters platform.

The case has now been officially scheduled for a hearing in September, just over a month away from local elections in October.

Rimmington claimed Councilor Fred Lichtwark had a pre-determined view of how he was going to vote to oust him on a May 9 hui and therefore should not have participated. Had he stepped down, Rimmington says he would still be president.

Through judicial review by the High Court, he is seeking to have the vote declared invalid, reclaim the post of its chairman and pay the costs.

The Hamilton High Court on Thursday confirmed the case had been set for September 1, around five weeks before the October 8 election.

Rimmington confirmed that he was not put off by the prospect of buying little time in the chairman’s place, saying that “it is important that the right process is followed by the councils”.

“It was always going to be tight,” he said.

He had asked for a priority match in May, but judge Mathew Downs refused.

Councilor Fred Lichtwark reportedly had a predetermined vision for how he would vote on May 9 (file).

Tom Lee / Stuff

Councilor Fred Lichtwark reportedly had a predetermined vision for how he would vote on May 9 (file).

Asked if he’s made up his mind whether he’ll run for next term, Rimmington said he’s still “up and down” at the idea.

But he revealed he was considering assembling a team of ‘like-minded’ advisers to stand on a ticket which had opposition to the Three Waters reforms as its main objective.

Elna M. Lemons