The Department of Internal Affairs has spoken and Invercargill City Mayor Tim Shadbolt has responded.
A subdued Shadbolt addressed the media this afternoon sharing his disappointment at the ongoing alleged attack on him by factions within council.
The DIA concluded in its review on council that the leadership void was largely due to Sir Tim Shadbolt’s “[struggle] to fulfil significant aspects of his role”.
Some of the more personal information in the review was ‘redacted’ to protect certain people, when it was publicly released.
The review found that there were significant problems with governance at the council, including a leadership void, impact of a new CEO, new deputy Mayor (Nobby Clark), as well as the Mayor and CEO relationship breakdown.
Chief executive Clare Hadley said the review raised some challenging issues both for elected members and staff.
“What’s important now is that we focus on what needs to be done to make improvements for the good of the city. The council has unanimously agreed an action plan, which sets out a range of positive initiatives that we must work on together.”
Two external appointees will work with the council to develop a clear set of delegations for the deputy Mayor, at a cost of up to $700,000, over the next six months.
Mayor Tim said in an initial statement with council, that he acknowledged the process has been a challenging one, both for himself and others around the council table.
“Now we’re looking ahead and we’ve agreed to work together to make the changes needed. This includes some additional support mechanisms which will help with the smooth running of the council, as well as seeking the guidance of our new external appointees.
“Everyone around the council table wants to do right by our city. We are committed to the people of Invercargill and we’ve now agreed a strong plan that means we can get on with doing a great job for our community.”
The DIA was unable to find the source of the media ‘leak’ that led to the council investigation, but did conclude that it couldn’t have been an ICC staff member.
With deputy Mayor Toni Biddle now having stood down from her position, the Code of Conduct complaint had been withdrawn, but the one on new deputy Mayor Nobby Clark was still under investigation.
Read the full reports (PDF) below: