Gifts policy on table

For the first time, a gifts policy will dictate how Waitaki's mayor and councillors should receive or make gifts.

The policy went before the Waitaki District Council's customer services committee, which has recommended it get final approval from the council on May 14.

It is based on a ''gifts and inducements policy'' introduced for staff last year and follows a request by Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher it be extended to cover elected representatives.

The policy defines what a gift is, what gifts can be accepted and what cannot.

It proposes elected representatives may accept a gift if it is a low-value (under $150) business courtesy, is appropriate to the situation in terms of value and nature, is given without expectation or condition of anything in return and is unsolicited in recognition of an existing relationship, completed work or recognised holiday (such as Christmas).

Any gifts over the value of $150 need the approval of the mayor, or in the mayor's case, the chief executive.

Restrictions on gift-giving and what they are for, along with accepting entertainment and hospitality are also included.

Gifts, offers of entertainment, kickbacks, bribes or other inducements must be declined and reported to the mayor, or in the mayor's case to the chief executive, if they are offered by a tendering organisation during a procurement (purchase or contract) process.

The policy includes a register on which the mayor and councillors must record all gifts, regardless of value, within a week of receiving them.


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