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Southland council tight-lipped over code of conduct issue

The Southland App

Local Democracy Reporter

16 April 2024, 9:22 PM

Southland council tight-lipped over code of conduct issue A potential breach of Southland District Council's code of conduct was discussed in a publicly excluded meeting this week. Photo: ODT/Supplied

Southland District Council will not reveal any details about a code of conduct matter discussed behind closed doors this week.


The issue formed the sole item of an executive committee meeting on Monday, with Mayor Rob Scott later telling Local Democracy Reporting it was in its early stages.


He could not give an indication of when more information would come to light.



“It’ll end up coming out public later, but it’s nothing too serious,” Scott said.


“Still in the very early stages, we can’t really release much at this stage for privacy reasons.”


The executive committee is made up of three members — mayor Scott, deputy mayor Christine Menzies and external member Bruce Robertson.



Menzies could not comment but said she would advise once she was in a position where she could speak further.


A council spokesperson said the executive committee would investigate the alleged breach and prepare a report for council to consider in an open meeting.


The potential breach could remain secret, however, if it was determined under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) that it should remain private.



Reasons for that could include a breach which related to the misuse of confidential information, or impingement on privacy relating to staff or the general public.


The council’s code of conduct is a 19 page document last updated in November 2022.


It covers such topics as the roles and responsibilities of elected members and the chief executive, relationships and behaviours, conflicts of interests, and contact with media.



Information on the potential breach was withheld under LGOIMA from the report prepared for Monday’s meeting.


LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air

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