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Cr Vandervis announced last night he was resigning from serving on the Otago Museum Trust Board and Dunedin’s district licensing committee.
Cr Vandervis had faced being stripped of those roles if he did not deliver the apology required of him by the Dunedin City Council after councillors decided this week he had breached the code of conduct by shouting at, standing over and pointing his finger in the face of deputy mayor Christine Garey in July.
"I have considered the resolution of the council and decided that I cannot in good conscience deliver the apology insisted on, as it would be dishonest and insincere," Cr Vandervis said in a statement.
"I have enjoyed the contribution that I have made to each organisation and I hope that the councillor who replaces me will be able to contribute as I have in the interests of those organisations and Dunedin city ratepayers."
Cr Rachel Elder said it was a shame Cr Vandervis had decided to curtail his contribution.
Diversity of opinion was important and Cr Vandervis was unafraid to offer perspectives other people might not otherwise consider.
However, Cr Elder said his conduct warranted a far stronger apology than he had delivered.
She also noted Cr Vandervis had withdrawn as Dunedin Heritage Fund chairman.
Cr Vandervis tendered an apology for "loudness" after the July 28 council meeting, but not for intimidation or aggression.
Independent investigator Steph Dyhrberg had found he behaved "aggressively, discourteously and in a manner anyone would have found intimidating".
Cr Sophie Barker, who will be the new heritage fund chairwoman, said she was sad about Cr Vandervis’ decisions yesterday.
She said Cr Vandervis was often "on the money" with points he would raise, but he could be more effective if he "measured his delivery".
Ahead of a museum board meeting yesterday, Cr Vandervis was asked how he felt about the possibility of losing his position, and whether he felt he had already apologised adequately enough.
"I apologised for loudness - that was all there was to it," Cr Vandervis replied.
"The rest is hyperbole," he said, apparently objecting to how some of his behaviour had been described.
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said it was disappointing Cr Vandervis had not taken the opportunity to reflect on how his behaviour affected people.
"Lee would rather resign from a role he has wanted for years, on the Otago Museum board, than give a sincere apology," Mr Hawkins said.
"His aggressive and intimidating outbursts are unacceptable, and I’m proud of my council colleagues for calling him out on it, despite the inevitable backlash it brings from his supporters."
Cr Steve Walker said Cr Vandervis liked to lay blame at the feet of other people.
He set himself up as a "victim" - a tactic that seemed to resonate with supporters.
"It’s clever. It’s almost Trumpian."
Cr Jim O’Malley said he was not surprised by Cr Vandervis’ move.
"It’s consistent with grandstanding and having no respect for process."
Cr Andrew Whiley said Cr Vandervis was effective in the roles from which he had just stood aside.
"The part that I’m extremely disappointed in, is at no point has he taken ownership of his behaviour." .
- Additional reporting by John Gibb