Changes not a takeover, Hadley says

Clare Hadley.
Clare Hadley. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Invercargill City Council chief executive Clare Hadley has denied proposed changes mean the deputy mayor will effectively be taking over from Sir Tim Shadbolt as mayor.

Changes to the deputy mayor role were suggested in a damning review which highlighted a leadership void and said Sir Tim was struggling to perform significant aspects of his role.

In the review, Richard Thomson said if the mayor was going to continue in his role, "as he has publicly stated is his intention", then there was a need to have a clear set of delegations for the deputy mayor.

What roles the mayor would continue to fulfil would also need to be defined, he said.

"These may be those where he has traditionally focused his energy — promotion and ceremonial, primarily," he wrote.

Ms Hadley said yesterday the new responsibilities and role of deputy mayor Nobby Clark would be defined by the elected members as part of its plan of action.

She said the team had begun filling in the details of the plan, but they were "still in the early stages".

However, she denied any changes would mean the deputy mayor would replace Sir Tim as mayor.

"The mayor is democratically elected; the deputy mayor has been appointed by the mayor."

She said there had, as of yet, been no discussions over whether Cr Clark would be paid more to do the extra work he had been delegated.

"For any one councillor — which is what the deputy mayor is — to receive more remuneration, others would need to receive less," Mrs Hadley said.

Cr Clark had said earlier this week he was not worried about being paid more and he accepted the job "to get things done".

Mrs Hadley also said council staff were preparing information for councillors in relation to recruitment of, and setting the terms of reference for, the external appointees.

Two external observers would be brought in at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The council was working to identify possible candidates and said the matter would be the subject of a report to be presented to the council on December 15.

"Their roles were proposed in the review document and cover report — one to sponsor the action plan; one to chair the chairs’ meeting and allow the chief executive to step back."

Mrs Hadley reiterated the council was focused on following its plan of action.

Earlier this week, Sir Tim criticised the report and described it as flawed, but Mrs Hadley said that would not change its outcome.


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