Timms future in doubt

December 13th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Southland Times reports:

Shamed Environment Southland chairwoman Ali Timms has taken six weeks paid leave, effective immediately, but four regional councillors believe she should have stood down.

Ms Timms applied for the leave after being outed for making a hoax phone call to talkback television last week. She harangued Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt about the council’s funding of the Auckland to Bluff yacht race for nearly 10 minutes on the Cue television programme, while pretending to be a struggling mother of two called Ruby whose partner had been laid off at Tiwai.

Environment Southland councillors discussed her actions in a closed-doors meeting yesterday, with acting Environment Southland chairman Nicol Horrell later issuing a statement saying they had unanimously expressed their extreme disapproval of her “unacceptable lack of judgment”.

The council is expected to hold a meeting in late January “to consider the council’s chairmanship”.

I don’t see how she can continue in the chair’s role with credibility. I don’t think she needs to resign from the Council, and in October voters can decide whether to keep her on. But the council elect the chair, and they can’t have a leader who does fake calls to TV shows to attack the Mayor of one of the Councils they have to work with.

Shadbolt may be hard work, but the tactics can not be condoned.


December 12th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The “struggling mother” who harangued Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt for almost 10 minutes on television was actually Environment Southland’s chairwoman Ali Timms.

Timms admitted the deception when confronted by a journalist yesterday.

She said she had done it as a practical joke . . . and when questioned further, Timms hung up on the reporter.

The call was made to the city council’s live talkback show on Cue TV last Wednesday night. Timms claimed to be “Ruby”, a mother of two who was struggling to make ends meet after her husband had been laid off from the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

Timms is an elected official. To pretend to be someone else to have a go at another elected official is just dishonest and unacceptable. She should resign – or her Coucnil Council should sack her.

Around 20 years ago John Carter did a prank call. But that at least was done in humour, not as a political attack. And he did get sacked as senior whip for it.