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Porirua CEO Welcomes Outside Scrutiny If Required

Date: 13.9.04

Porirua CEO Welcomes Outside Scrutiny If Required

Porirua City Council CEO Dr Roger Blakeley said he would be pleased to provide a report to the Controller and Auditor-General on his role in the current local body elections if he is asked to do so.

In a press statement issued on September 10, Councillor Robert Shaw said he was concerned about two issues. One concerned an advertisement by Mayoral candidate Euon Murrell and the other the decision by Contact Energy to open a new contact centre in Hutt City rather than Porirua.

A copy of the statement is attached.

Dr Blakeley said he had been scrupulous in his dealings with election matters and “would welcome” any request for information from the Audit Office.

He said he had been asked by two elected members whether claims made by Mr Murrell concerning rate increases were true. The request had been treated as an Official Information Request and the answer had been provided simultaneously to all councillors, the Mayor and Mr Murrell.

There was absolutely no basis to the claim that he (Dr Blakeley) had been “doing research” with the intention of helping one candidate against another. “I was reacting to a request and only interested myself in the accuracy of the information.”

On the second issue, Dr Blakeley said he had been asked by Council to provide a report on the sequence of events leading up to Contact Energy’s decision to opt for Hutt City for its new contact centre.

“I was simply following a request from Council to provide this information. It was certainly not an attempt to ‘conceal the Mayor’s role’ in the development. I need to make this absolutely clear.” Council had asked that this report be circulated to the media.

Dr Blakeley said a number of claims had been made in the media about the Contact Energy decision and “some of these claims required a response.”

ENDS

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