Pair in spat over minutes

Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis was accused of trying to ''massage'' the official minutes of a Dunedin City Council meeting during testy exchanges with Cr David Benson-Pope yesterday.

The spat came after Cr Benson-Pope took exception to an attempt by Cr Vandervis to have the minutes of an earlier council meeting, held on November 21, amended during yesterday's full council meeting.

The minutes showed Cr Vandervis had voted against a resolution at the end of a debate on liquor licensing, held in the non-public part of the council's November 21 meeting.

Cr Vandervis sought to have that changed, claiming he had voted against only one part of the two-part resolution. Cr Benson-Pope insisted the minutes were accurate and any attempt to change them was ''laughable''.

Cr Vandervis said he also wanted the minutes to reflect what happened, but ''when I read them they plainly did not''.

''If Mr Benson-Pope wants to interpret what I said at the meeting differently, well, that's his privilege, but I believe I was very clear.''

That prompted Mayor Dave Cull to interject, defending the accuracy of the minutes.

''Quite frankly, I'm over it,'' Cr Vandervis finally concluded.

''Do whatever you like.''

Councillors then voted to retain the original meeting minutes, with Cr Vandervis voting against.


Just why it was ruled, "that a councillor's request for minutes of a meeting past to be a correct record of events" be not actioned is not indicative of the much vaunted 'transparancy' cited by Mayor Dave Cull as being his mantra. Just why Clr David Benson-Pope took exception to the request is a matter to ponder upon. Was it a matter of import?  We'll never know.

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