Tim Shabolt during the phone-in.
The chairwoman of Environment Southland is standing down
for six weeks after it was revealed she posed as a struggling
mum to harangue Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt on a TV
Ali Timms was outed by the Southland Times after grilling Mr
Shadbolt for 10 minutes on Invercargill TV phone-in show City
Talk after identifying herself as struggling mum of two
Environment Southland has issued a statement this afternoon
deploring Cr Timms' conduct.
"Councillors have unanimously expressed our extreme
disapproval of the unacceptable lapse of judgement shown by
Chairman Ali Timms in taking part in the Invercargill City
Council's televised talkback programme under an assumed name
"Councillors have accepted Cr Timms' application for six
weeks leave of absence, effective immediately. We expect to
hold an rxtraordinary meeting of Council to consider the
Council's Chairmanship in late January."
Mr Shadbolt appeared uncomfortable during the questioning on
the Cue TV show but appeared to realise who the caller was
when he referred to her as "Ali" during the segment.
The questioning focused on the financial risks of the planned
Auckland-to-Bluff yacht race.
'Ruby', who said her husband had been laid off from the Tiwai
Point aluminium smelter, said money would be better spent
improving Bluff's main street.
Cr Timms told the Southland Times the call was a practical
joke when contacted for comment.
Mr Shadbolt told the newspaper he was disturbed by the stunt.