Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Councillor Seeks Ruling from Ombudsmen

Councillor Seeks Ruling from Ombudsmen

A decision by the Manukau City Council to withhold a document critical of its actions has resulted in Manukau City Councillor Jami-Lee Ross seeking assistance in making the document available to the public.

The Howick representative says he is frustrated by the Council’s unwillingness to make the papers publicly available and has written to the Office of the Ombudsmen requesting that the Council’s decision to withhold the information be overturned.

The document was written in May 2005 during the controversy over the citywide publication, now called Manukau Matters. It reveals actions taken by officials in relation to the issue and critical comments by councillors at the time.

During the controversy, Mr Ross and Botany Councillor Dick Quax wrote to the Auditor- General questioning the Council’s actions. The complaint resulted in the Auditor-General finding that council officers had made an unauthorised payment of $27,495 and did not provide councillors with sufficient advice at a key committee meeting.

The Auditor-General also ruled that officers erred in not making legal advice available to representatives at a meeting, a criticism Mr Ross says the Council has yet to learn from. “The Council has a responsibility to be open with the public about information that it holds, even if it may cause embarrassment. It appears that the Council is withholding this information simply because that information reflects negatively on actions taken by senior officials.”

Mr Ross says it took a 6 month battle before the Council agreed to let him view a copy of the papers, despite the fact that he is an elected representative. He has now been gagged by the Council’s standing orders and is prevented from disclosing what he read.

However, he says that the document does not reflect well on the Council and that it is in the public interest that the document is released.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news