Is the Code of Conduct a Crock?

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

       “Gary

       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.

Bob Harvey

Mayor”

Ms Cooper, you’ve now had time to reflect on your hasty gratuitous response.

It’s never too late to apologise!

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3 Responses to Is the Code of Conduct a Crock?

  1. jim carney says:

    Since the council CEO is not the employer of councilors and the Mayor refuses to act on Osborne’s complaint, the only recourse for the real employers, the ratepayers ( for whom councilors are the paid servants) must take action by not voting for offending councilors.Now is the time to act. New and fresh blood is needed to fill the supercity council seats. The present seat warmers need to be put out to grass.

  2. jim carney Tusitala says:

    Now that Mr Harvey is no longer interested in being a contender for the supercity mayoralty he seems to have done a “Pilate” on we ratepayers .. Tusitala

  3. Bill says:

    The code states:
    This Code does not confer on a member of the public any right to lodge a complaint under the procedures set out in this Code. However, we acknowledge and endorse the right of the public to raise matters of concern in other ways including:
    * an approach to the Mayor;
    * an approach to any one of us as Councillors;
    * an approach to the Chief Executive Officer;
    * a complaint to the Ombudsmen’s Office; and
    * a complaint to the Office of the Auditor General or other appropriate authority.

    Looks like it was a waste of time approaching the superfluous mayor as well as the redundant CEO.
    I hope the new councils code wont be a farce as well!

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