Business community concerned over ICC conflicts

The Southland Chamber of Commerce and local business community are echoing the DIA's concerns over the Invercargill City Council's performance and leadership.

In a press statement released today, the chamber's chief executive Sheree Carey said it shares the Department of Internal Affairs' view that several high profile capital projects appear to be testing the Council's ability to provide strong, united governance and leadership.

"The ongoing and very public conflicts, noted in the DIA letter, are a source of concern to the business community."

She said president Neil McAra sent a letter, on behalf of the chamber's board, to Mayor Tim Shadbolt and the Invercargill City Councillors requesting they consider further investigation and consultation with the business and wider community as part of their evaluation process for the Department of Internal Affairs review.

A second letter was sent on September 16 expressing the chamber's disappointment the evaluation plan does not include external feedback.

The Chamber has continued working with Council in a constructive manner to ensure better outcomes for the city, Ms Carey said.

"We have previously expressed the views of our 450 businesses and believe that it is important that those views are heard by the evaluator. "

A response was received from Mayor Shadbolt yesterday stating that council anticipates a number of actions would be recommended by DIA after the evaluation takes place and that external engagement may well be part of those actions.

All Chamber correspondence has been sent to the Depart of Internal Affairs and Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta, she said

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