Boult conflict of interest report to be presented at council meeting

Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult: ""The clear stress, anxiety, dissent and downright vitriol that this...
Jim Boult.
A report will be presented to Thursday's full Queenstown Lakes District Council meeting in Queenstown - the last for this triennium - following an elected member conduct committee hearing yesterday.

The committee, chaired by Auckland lawyer Mike Holm, sat for about 90 minutes to hear a conflict of interest complaint brought by council candidate Niki Gladding and, separately, a complaint brought by Wanaka motel owner Peter Sutherland.

Ms Gladding's complaint centred on mayor Jim Boult's involvement in discussions and decisions on Queenstown Airport development and both she and Mr Sutherland alleged a conflict of interest in discussions and decisions on the proposed visitor levy while Mr Boult was chairman of tourism company Wayfare Group.

Ms Gladding declined an invitation to discuss the matter informally with Mr Holm, and then took issue with the three-member panel - comprising deputy mayor Calum Macleod, audit, finance and risk committee chairman Ross McRobie and Mr Holm - because the conduct committee's terms of reference stated it should comprise all councillors and an independent chairman.

She told the Otago Daily Times yesterday she had not heard anything after the meeting and would "leave it and let it run its course''.

Ms Gladding understood Mr Holm would present a report to the full council meeting this week, which she was unlikely to be able to attend.

"I'll just have to accept the decision they come to, really.

"If I agree with it, I'll just let it go, and if I don't, I'll take it to the Auditor-general.''

Council communications manager Naell Crosby-Roe said all elected members had been invited to attend. However, there were "a couple of apologies''.

Neither Ms Gladding or Mr Sutherland attended the meeting. Nor did Mr Boult.


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