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Blumsky Quits Over Stigley Row

Blumsky Quits Over Stigley Row

Wellington mayor Mark Blumsky has resigned from his position in Local Government New Zealand in protest at the group’s treatment of its chief executive, Carol Stigley, saying the group blamed her for a mixup with Sandra Lee.

National’s Murray McCully has blamed a communication breakdown with Local Government Minister Sandra Lee and Prime Minister Helen Clark for Ms Stigley’s departure, and for the $140,000 golden handshake the ratepayer funded lobby group paid Ms Stigley to avoid a personal grievance action.

Mr McCully yesterday produced a confidential memo from Local Government president Louise Rosson which he said proved Prime Minister Helen Clark had tried to mend the "dysfunctional" relationship between Ms Lee and Ms Stigley.

Ms Lee is now under heavy scrutiny for her relationship with Ms Stigley, and comments she has made since Ms Stigley's resignation denying a breakdown in communications.

Mayor Blumsky appears to support Mr McCully’s claim. Last night he said Ms Stigley was forced from the job after a meeting between Sandra Lee, the organisation's president Louise Rosson and two vice presidents Gordon Blake and Phil Warren.

Mayor Blumsky resigned from the body yesterday after walking out of a meeting of the body three weeks ago.

Mr Blumsky said he understood Ms Stigley was told she could no longer carry on in the job, as the minister could no longer work with her.

Today, Mr Blumsky confirmed he had written a letter to other mayors, urging them to split with Local Government New Zealand and begin their own new body.

Meanwhile, Ms Lee continues to deny she ever personally clashed with the CEO. Helen Clark has also distanced herself from major spats with the body, saying she is certain a minor tiff she had had with Local Government NZ was not responsible for Ms Stigley’s departure.


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