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Council Staff Shocked At Attack from New Mayor

November 6, 2007

Staff at Far North District Council Shocked At Attack from New Mayor

Far North District Council staff are shocked that the district’s new Mayor has begun his first term by insulting and threatening them and scrapping all of the previous council’s committees.

Speaking yesterday at his first council meeting newly elected Far North Mayor, Wayne Brown, told the staff they were to “never threaten, insult, infuriate or demonise ratepayers.”

He also announced that all council committees would be scrapped and replaced with a new Audit and Finance Committee as part of a move to reduce costs to a level “at least as low as the private sector.”

Mr Brown warned staff that anyone who did not embrace his “changes” should “re-examine their involvement” with the council.

“Staff at the Far North council are deeply disappointed that Mr Brown has begun his Mayoralty by insulting and threatening them without any justification,” says Brenda Pilott, National Secretary of the PSA which has 90 members at the council.

“The council staff are part of the community, most are ratepayers themselves,” says Brenda Pilott. ”They have a good relationship with the people they serve and with the council’s management.”

“This is why they’re deeply disappointed that in his first act as the new Mayor Mr Brown has chosen to attack their integrity and threaten their jobs.”

Brenda Pilott says Mr Brown’s abuse and threats are uncalled for and unnecessary as the staff and PSA support his goals of improving the council’s performance to the benefit of all ratepayers and residents, Maori and Pakeha, in The Far North.

“But these goals will not be achieved by bullying and abusing council staff, “ says Brenda Pilott.” This is likely to see skilled and experienced staff leave the council and make it hard attract new staff.”

Cutting costs to a level lower than the private sector will also not benefit the people of the Far North. This will lead to reduction in council services and make it impossible to retain and recruit skilled staff.

“The message from the council staff to Mr Brown is that he needs to abandon his confrontational approach,“ says Brenda Pilott. “He needs to adopt a policy of working with the council’s staff and management for the benefit of the Far North community.”


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