An independent adjudicator is to be called in to hear a
code of conduct complaint against Dunedin's mayor.
The Dunedin City Council agreed last week to depart from the
usual path and appoint an independent person to resolve the
complaint from Cr Lee Vandervis, following the failure of
The adjudicator is to assess the available information, and a
hearing is likely to follow in mid-February.
Cr Vandervis laid the complaint after a television interview
during last year's local body elections, in which Mayor Dave
Cull called the councillor's experience and policies
''shonky, nutty and extreme''. Cr Vandervis said the comments
breached the provision of the council's code that covers
relationships with other members.
Mediation was ended after the councillor rejected a written
apology from Mr Cull in December. Cr Vandervis said the
apology was nothing like that sought in mediation and only
compounded the situation.
Council corporate services manager Sandy Graham said having
an independent adjudicator deal with the issue was a
departure from the normal complaint resolution process, which
was to form a code of conduct committee consisting of the
mayor, the deputy mayor and an independent person.
But because the mayor was involved and deputy mayor Chris
Staynes called and led the mediation, it was agreed an
independent person alone should decide the matter.
An adjudicator had been identified, but final arrangements
with that person were yet to be confirmed, she said.
Cr Vandervis said he had already sought any legal costs to
He expected the adjudicator to make a decision on costs.