Uproar after mayor ends meeting

Tim Shadbolt
Tim Shadbolt
Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt's decision to end a heated council meeting yesterday caused an uproar from some of his fellow councillors.

The Invercargill City Council held an extraordinary meeting to debate a mediation between Gore and Southland District Councils, in relation to the Wastenet tender process.

The meeting was called by a requisition document signed by five councillors - Rebecca Amundsen, Alex Crackett, Darren Ludlow, Lesley Soper and Lindsay Thomas.

During the meeting, Cr Ian Pottinger urged the council not to receive a report from chief executive Clare Hadley.

His request was based on the council's requirement of ''at least two working days' notice'' before discussing a document.

Sir Tim agreed with him and said the report would not be debated - and declared the meeting closed.

However, Cr Soper disagreed and moved a motion for the debate to go to a public-excluded meeting.

Cr Karen Arnold said the meeting was about a previous report and urged the mayor to vote on the motion.

Sir Tim refused - because members were ''running in circles'' around the matter, he said.

''I just feel that it [the tender process] has been long enough,'' he said.

Cr Toni Biddle said she was embarrassed by the debate.

''This council is not behaving as a council.

''We look like a pack of plonkers.''

Cr Amundsen asked the mayor what he believed the next step for the mediation process was.

Cr Pottinger said the mediation should not happen because the council ''skipped one of the most valuable steps in local government law'', which was the view of the community.

luisa.girao@odt.co.nz

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