Councillors careful to keep mum

Dunedin city councillors are remaining tight-lipped about the alleged Citifleet fraud.

Most councillors were either not answering or not commenting yesterday.

Those contacted said they had been advised not to comment, and to leave any talking to council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose and Mayor Dave Cull.

Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes would only say councillors had to be ''damn careful'' not to say anything that might jeopardise aspects of the investigation, including ''what the police might or might not do''.

Cr Andrew Whiley was also reluctant to comment, but said the way it was being handled by Dr Bidrose was ''the right way to go about it''.

''I support her in exactly what she's doing,'' he said.

''I will be interested to see where it goes with the police.''

Cr Jinty MacTavish said councillors had been ''advised not to (comment) for legal reasons''; Cr Doug Hall said he was yet to see details of the council's media release; and Crs Mike Lord and Kate Wilson declined to comment.

Cr Richard Thomson responded to a request for his view with a simple: ''No - are you surprised?''

Other councillors could not be contacted late yesterday.

Earlier, Mr Cull said in a statement the fraud's discovery after more than a decade ''shows the council has been right to push for more transparency and tighter processes''.

''We tasked Sue, and the previous chief executive, Paul Orders, with reviewing DCC practices so any problems or issues could be fixed as part of our accountability to ratepayers.

''Paul started with our companies and made a huge improvement in their governance and oversight.

''Now Sue and her staff are having the same impact inside the DCC.''


Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter