Sack the Gore Council and appoint the Mayor as Commissioner

Radio NZ reports:

New Zealand’s youngest ever mayor is being called on to resign by the majority of his council. …

The majority of councillors had lost confidence in the mayor and lost trust in him acting in the best interests of the community and council as a whole, Hovell said.

The Mayor is accountable to the public, not the Council. If those seven Councillors can’t accept the results of the election, then they should resign themselves.

Failing that, the Local Government Minister should sack the entire Council (he can’t sack just some of them) and appoint Bell as the Commissioner.

It is apparent that change is needed, based on this Newsroom investigation which found the following:

  • allegations of a culture of bullying, including an inquiry by the Labour Department
  • problems continued long after the Labour Department put the council on notice for its deficient systems for dealing with bullying 
  • council has paid out hundreds of thousands in severance settlements with staff, many with non-disclosure agreements
  • a community group believed it had identified nearly 90 former staff from the council who had been victims of the council’s culture but few could go public because of secrecy agreements
  • In November 2006, the Public Service Association threatened to blacklist the Gore District Council
  • In late 2007 Parry made a surprise visit to the London home of one of the complainants, former chief financial officer Doug Walker. It resulted in Walker seeking a restraining order against Parry for threatening behaviour.

It now seems clear that the Chief Executive is trying to get the Mayor sacked. This sort of behaviour should not be rewarded.

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