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No Evidence of Conflict of Interest

7 August 2005

Auditor General's Report Finds No Evidence of Conflict of Interest

The Auditor General's Final Report investigating the allegations of "conflict of interest" between Nikki Pye, Stix Communications and Twig Publishing, Sir Barry Curtis with regards to the council publication has been released.

The report states, "We found no evidence of potential bias towards Twig Publishing arising from the Mayor's previous association with Nikki Pye and her companies."

Until now, Nikki Pye has refrained from making any public comments awaiting the outcome of Council processes, and latterly the Auditor General's enquiry.

"My personal and professional integrity meant that I would not discuss my dealings and that of my company's dealings with clients in the public arena. To date I have not done this at a considerable cost to me," says Ms Pye.

"I am extremely concerned that both of my businesses and I have been subjected to a rigorous and long lasting campaign which was not based in fact or truth. The commercial impact has been unbelievable and disastrous for me, my companies and my staff."

"I do not have a problem with the process undertaken if there is hard core evidence at the outset and not hearsay as was the case here."

"Had there been a genuine interest in putting a real or potential wrong right by Cr Quax, Cr Ross or Sir Roger Douglas, I believe that it should have been more appropriate to determine if it was based in fact in the first instance and not hearsay. Clearly this was never done."

"At no stage did Cr Quax, Cr Ross or Sir Roger Douglas approach me for clarification on any point. Had they done so I would have obliged."

"In addition to this, falsely implicate another client of my business was simply disgraceful. The timing of these accusations appeared in local newspapers was at an important time for my client. I firmly believe it was more to do with their personal views about the client and were mischievous."

The link between Nikki Pye, Stix Communications and Twig Publishing to the client mentioned by complainants was found by the Auditor Generals office to be "irrelevant" to the citywide publication.

"Local government politicians do not have parliamentary privilege to say what they like and I would like to see that this never occurs again. Nikki Pye is now in discussions with the Council on this matter."

"Finally I personally regret that the situation got to this point. I believe that the entire situation could have been resolved in a more professional manner, had the complainants acted in good faith, and with similar professional integrity as other parties that have been caught up in the debacle did," says Nikki Pye.

ENDS

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