Sir Tim Shadbolt hits back at independent review findings

Sir Tim is in his ninth term as mayor of Invercargill. Photo: Stepjhen Jaquiery
Sir Tim is in his ninth term as mayor of Invercargill. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt says a fresh review of the council is "predictably negative" about his performance and largely ignores some serious recent events.

At a closed door meeting of councillors today Sir Tim voted against adopting a six-month review of council.

The follow-up to last year's Thomson Report painted a positive picture of the council overall, but Sir Tim was seen as an "unavoidable and inconvenient distraction", according to other councillors.

Sir Tim said he voted against adopting the review at today's risk and assurance committee meeting because allegations against him were wrongly presented as facts.

"The report was predictably negative as to my role and actions. There were some serious recent issues which the report largely ignored," Sir Tim said.

"Councillors at today's meeting were disturbingly preoccupied with how the media could be controlled from here and the effects of the review on their re-election in 13 months."

On August 10, an email sent by Sir Tim to media was intercepted and used against him at a closed meeting an hour later.

The action sparked a tumultuous week at the council, which included the mayor claiming he was being bullied and his deputy Nobby Clark suggesting a "vote of no confidence" was forthcoming.

In the follow-up report made public today, Richard Thomson said the council had made "significant progress" in a short space of time.

But he acknowledged the public media events of the past few weeks following the completion of interviews "must provide some caution to this conclusion".

"It is reasonable to also have a concern as to the potentially destabilising impact associated with recent media stories about the use, by the chief executive of an email sent by the mayor," Thomson said.

An emergency council meeting will be held tomorrow where the report and recommendations will be discussed.

- by Matthew Rosenberg, local democracy reporter

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