Environment Southland chairwoman Ali Timms has survived a
meeting this morning where some of her councillors made it
plain they expected her to resign.
The 7-5 vote of confidence in her leadership included her
vote for herself. She said she had taken legal advice and was
told she was able to vote.
Ms Timms earned the unanimous disapproval of her colleagues
last month when she telephoned Invercargill Mayor Tim
Shadbolt on a regional television talk-back show and posed as
Ruby, a mother of two whose husband had been made redundant
from the Tiwai Point smelter.
The five councillors who wanted her to go spoke of her lack
of remorse over the incident, how she had destroyed her
credibility, how it would be difficult for the public and
councillors to trust her from now on, and that if she stayed
she would be trying to lead a divided council.
Several called on her two resign willingly before the vote
Others said they did not condone her actions but one mistake
had to be balanced against the good work she had done in her
two years as chairwoman.
Ms Timms, who spoke last, apologised for the telephone call,
saying she regretted her "stupid'' and "dumb'' actions and
could assure people
there would be no repeat.
However, she said she had no intention of resigning.
"I'm not a quitter. I'm not going anywhere,'' she said.
- Alison Rudd