Electronic policies review assent

The Invercargill City Council has approved a $10,000 independent review of its electronic policies and procedures following an incident with Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt’s email.

But the mayor voted against the investigation as he did not trust the system in place, he said.

Sir Tim Shadbolt has been storing personal items at council-owned buildings. Photo: ODT files
Sir Tim Shadbolt
Last week, Sir Tim told a Local Democracy Reporter he believed chief executive Clare Hadley had accessed one of his emails and used it against him at a chairman’s meeting.

A report about the matter was presented by Jane Parfitt, adviser to the office of the chief executive, to elected members yesterday during the council’s risk and assurance meeting.

Ms Parfitt said that after the incident the council felt there was a range of understanding
and appreciation of how the council’s correspondence was treated, so an independent review was the best outcome.

She recommended Wellington barrister Robert Buchanan undertake the review and suggested a $10,000 budget for the matter.

Sir Tim opposed the investigation and said that Mrs Had-
ley and her advisers should not play any role in the review, including suggesting who would conduct the review.

“Clare is implicated as a party to the allegedly improper use of an email and the report downplays the fundamental lack of consent by me as to hacking the emails,” Sir Tim said.

Chairman Bruce Robertson said he appreciated the sensitivity of the matter but what the council was seeking was clarity on the policy and an understanding of the grounds of the support given to elected members.

“I think there is a big difference between that and what you are alluding to and I would want to caution you about using words like ‘hacking’ — we are talking about something which is here for support and whether that has been done reasonably or not.”

Councillors approved the proposed recommendations with the exception of Sir Tim.

The investigation will be carried out this week and councillors can expect a report on the issue by mid-September.

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