Council Code of Conduct investigated by independent investigator
Released: Tuesday 14 September 2021
The two Code of Conduct complaints taken by Council Chief Executive Ben Smit are found to be a breach of the Elected Member’s Code of Conduct.
The complaints were processed by an independent investigator Ms Julie Hardaker. The complaints were discussed in a public excluded meeting on Friday 10 September. The meeting was in public excluded to ensure free and frank discussion on a sensitive employee relations matter. The outcomes of the meeting were unanimously supported by all Elected Members who attended the meeting. Crs Glucina, Schulte and Daine did not attend.
“I welcome the unanimous support of the seven Elected Members present at the meeting regarding the Chief Executive’s Code of Conduct complaint in relation to Elected Members’ conduct,” said Mayor Jenny Shattock. “Mr Smit has been given an undertaking that the Elected Members at the meeting took his concerns seriously and that he has the full support of the Elected Members in attendance.”
A breach of the Code of Conduct by Cr Glucina results in a public apology for unprofessional conduct that caused hurt and reputational damage to Mr Smit and facilitation to repair the working relationship if agreed by both parties. Cr Glucina will be removed for a period of three months as a member of the District Licencing Committee, Audit and Risk Committee and the Hearings Committee; and will have voting rights removed for a period of three months from Community and Assets Committee meetings and Corporate and Regulatory Committee meetings.
A breach of the Code of Conduct by all Elected Members results in a workshop regarding Council’s legal obligations as an employer, a facilitated session regarding standards of behaviour and communication protocols to reset the relationship and the installation of technology to record and stream Council meetings.
“The majority of Elected Members and I have had enough of the negative impact these poor behaviours and conducts are having on the organisation and our community. The leaks and destructive comments that result in negative media is distracting from the many positive South Waikato stories. Most of the Elected Members wish to focus on the reasons they stood for Council in the first place – to drive a positive future for the district and our community, celebrate our many strengths and tackle the many challenges that we are facing, including water reforms, RMA reforms and the future for local government.”
“We recognise the seriousness of this breach of the Code of Conduct. The outcomes that have been applied through this process mirror that seriousness,” continued Mayor Shattock. “The remedies send a very clear message to lift behaviours.”
ENDS. Words: 440