The Dunedin City Council has given its own payment
procedures a clean bill of health, after controversy over the
handling of $3400 in fees paid to former Dunedin North MP Peter
The all-clear came after the Taxpayers' Union in February
questioned the apparent absence of invoices or other
documentation covering the arrangement between the council
and Mr Hodgson.
Mayor Dave Cull had described the payments as part of a
''gentlemen's'' agreement, but later backtracked after it
emerged the council had received invoices from Mr Hodgson for
his work and had entered into a ''fee for service
Yesterday, responding to an Otago Daily Times official
information request, council staff said they had not entered
into any other payment arrangements without an invoice,
contract or other documentation.
The ODT had asked for any other examples of payments
lacking appropriate documentation made by the council since
October 2010, when the last council was sworn in, as well as
details of the payment to Mr Hodgson.
Council staff confirmed the deal with Mr Hodgson was
negotiated by staff from the council's economic development
It was documented in emails, an invoice and vouchers and was
paid for from the council's economic development strategy
budget, staff said.
Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose had since reminded
staff the council did not use ''gentlemen's agreements'' and
that all transactions should be covered by contracts.
Mr Cull had told Fairfax in February the arrangement with Mr
Hodgson was ''a gentlemen's way of doing business in the
He later said his ''slightly flippant'' comments were made on
the basis there were no invoices, which later proved to be
''I thought it was a handshake deal,'' Mr Cull said.