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Code Of Conduct Investigation

9 November 2005

Code Of Conduct Investigation

Rodney District Council CEO, Vijaya Vaidyanath, has welcomed the end of an investigation into a recent code of conduct complaint made by her against Councillor John Watson.

The code of conduct investigation followed comments made by Councillor Watson which Ms Vaidyanath believed may have breached the Council's code of conduct by compromising the integrity of council staff.

The investigator, Timothy Haire, found that whilst the comments made were correctly attributed to Councillor Watson, they needed to be considered in the context in which they were made.

Mr Haire says Councillor Watson's comments were aimed at Rodney District Council as an elected administrative body and not at staff. His investigation concludes that the staff's integrity was not compromised.

As no breach of code of conduct was found, this brings the matter to an end.

Ms Vaidyanath says the report ends a very difficult but nevertheless necessary process that had to be undertaken in support of council staff.

"At the time of the comments I was genuinely concerned at what I saw as unfair and unnecessary criticism of council staff. I also had a complaint from a staff member regarding Councillor Watson's media comments. I therefore had both an obligation and a responsibility to respond on behalf of staff and to protect their professional reputation.

"The appropriate response was to seek an independent and transparent ruling to the matter.

"Although I do not entirely agree with some of the interpretations leading to the report's conclusions, I accept the finding, and intend to move on from this issue."

The report will be formally presented to the Council at its November meeting.


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