Report addressing ‘significant conflict’ put to Invercargill city councillors

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Independence governance expert Bruce Robertson, left, and independent evaluator Richard Thomson at the Invercargill City Council before presenting a draft evaluation report to councillors.

Logan Savory/Stuff

Independence governance expert Bruce Robertson, left, and independent evaluator Richard Thomson at the Invercargill City Council before presenting a draft evaluation report to councillors.

Invercargill city councillors have been presented with a draft report addressing the ‘significant conflict’ around the council table.

An extraordinary meeting was held on Thursday where councillors were presented with the draft evaluation report.

It comes after the Department of Internal Affairs sent a letter to Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt and council chief executive Clare Hadley in August raising concerns about ‘significant conflict’ at the council.

The DIA asked that the council provide a clear plan as to how the council will address the issues.

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The council appointed Bruce Robertson as an independent governance expert to work through the matter.

Robertson gathered feedback from councillors, Shadbolt, and chief executive Hadley around the perceived problems at the council.

That feedback was provided to Richard Thomson who carried out an independent evaluation of the council, as requested by the DIA.

That draft evaluation report was put to councillors, Shadbolt, and Hadley on Tuesday in a public excluded session.

Before media was removed and the meeting went into public excluded, Cr Peter Kett asked why some had been able to have a look at the draft report prior to the meeting, while others hadn’t.

“As I understand it, the report we are about to receive, some people in this council chambers have already received the report, why is that so? Why aren’t all the councillors allowed to read this report prior to this meeting.”

Robertson asked that they waited until the meeting was moved into public excluded to allow him to explain the full process on gaining feedback from everyone on the report.

“I’m happy to explain that when we move to public excluded.”

Another extraordinary meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12 at 6pm where the final findings of the independent governance review will be put to council.

Discussion from this week’s briefing will be incorporated into the final report next week, which includes recommendations for the future.

Once the council has considered the finalised report on November 12, and made decisions on the way forward, the outcome and next steps will be shared with the DIA and public.



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