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Sludgegate: "Anonymous" P.I. Report on Chisholm

Press Release
Sludgegate Update, Day 13
5:10pm, Thursday, 7 December 2000
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"Anonymous" P.I. Report on Chisholm

Earlier this year Adrian Chisholm had to sleep on Christine Fletcher's Mayoral couch to retrieve a Private Investigator's report on him that council had commissioned. Today in the Sludgegate trial we heard about yet another P.I. Report. Giving evidence today, former Waiheke Community Board Chairman Gordon Hodson said that he was "posted" yet another Private Investigator's Report on Adrian Chisholm and his companies as far back as 1995.

Hodson said he had met with an "anonymous" man - "an investigation agent; I have his cad at home" - who later posted him the P.I. Report. Armed with this, and his own investigations into Chisholm's companies, he "thereafter took the view that if asked I would say to anybody that they would have to exercise care" when dealing with Chisholm.

Hodson agreed that he himself was well aware of Chisholm's resort project, and also that it was he who first suggested the Onetangi Reserve on Chisholm 's boundary be used for council's sludge dump.

Chisholm's barrister Chris La Hatte continued cross-examining Mr Hodson for some time. La Hatte showed him a letter indicating that council officers who prepared the reserve for a sludge dump also knew about Chisholm's access road proposal to his resort scheme, and proceeded (with Community Board blessing) to prepare a sludge dump across this access road.

A March 16, 1998council meeting was discussed later in the day with Geoff Cone - formerly with council's lawyers Simpson Grierson. Asked under oath if Utilities Manager Mike McQuillan might have said at that meeting that he "wanted to dump sludge, even one truck load" on the golf course, Cone at first said he didn't recall, and later said he was sure McQuillan hadn't. "It wasn't," said Cone, "the sort of thing Mr McQuillan would say."

An appeal by La Hatte was also heard today. He is appealing against an earlier decision to bar a so-called privileged document dated March 16, 1998. Justice Williams refused leave to appeal that decision to the Court of Appeal.

The case is now expected to run until at least Tuesday next week, with counsel's closing submissions hoped to take place a week later. Cross examination of council witnesses continues tomorrow, with former Waiheke Community Board members expected to be called.

ENDS

For further information please contact: Peter Cresswell (025) 602 4203 e-mail: organon@ihug.co.nz


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