All Councils are required by law to have a Code of Conduct for their Mayor and Councillors.
The introduction of WCC’s code states:
“This Code provides:
a) Guidance to us, the Mayor and Councillors of Waitakere City Council s to the manner in which we are expected to conduct ourselves, in our capacity as Members in our dealings with:
- each other
- the Chief Executive Officer and staff employed by the Chief Executive Officer on behalf of Council; and
- the public
b) Guidance as to our conduct relating to disclosure of information………………………and so it goes on – a document of some 23 pages which can be downloaded from the Council’s website www.waitakere.govt.nz
When I raised the matter of non-compliance with the Code, in the case of Linda Cooper’s email to me, with the CEO and the Mayor the responses were:
1. From the CEO via the Legal Services Manager
Your email has been referred to me.
At page 9 of the Code of Conduct , copy attached, it is made clear that members of the public do not have a right to make a complaint under the procedures prescribed by the Code. It is not clear what “prompt action” you expect the Chief Executive to take in response to your correspondence?
Elected members are not an employee of the Chief Executive. She therefore has no means to exert any control over their personal conduct.”
2. From the Mayor
“Dear Mr Osborne
No I do not intend to take any action at all on this matter.
Councillor Cooper is taking advice from our Legal Services which is right and appropriate.
The CE is also well aware of the situation and I am more than happy that this is being dealt with.
Mr Osborne, I am not going to spend any time on this matter nor will I engage in further correspondence with you about it, so I am asking you not to waste your time and mine by pursuing it.
Ms Cooper, you’ve now had time to reflect on your hasty gratuitous response.
It’s never too late to apologise!