Transparency! Media release # 4
Hot on the heels of Marty Sharpe's Sep 15 2022 article 'Why did a CEO need to make an official information request of her own council?' I sent a please explain email to the Mayor and Acting CEO to date neither and acknowledgement or reply.
I also sent a Letter to the Editor and a media release we'll just have to wait and see if either get published.
Media Release: Nigel Simpson: Napier Councillor
Unbelievable: CEO has to lodge official request with own Council to get info
The news yesterday that the chief executive of Napier City Council had to lodge a Local Government Official Information Act (LGOIMA) request to get information out of her own Council is deeply disturbing.
The just departed chief executive lodged the requests while she was still working at the Council, withdrawing them just three days before her resignation was announced.
Sitting councillor and mayoral candidate Nigel Simpson said the “appalling” revelation was kept from councillors, despite regular updates on LGOIMA requests being provided to them.
“I am only now aware of these official information requests, and we still don’t know what the topic was. I can’t believe that such a monumental issue was not advised to councillors – and especially not to the committee that manages the employing of the chief executive, on which I sit. Why on earth did we find out through the media?”
The requests were lodged on August 3 and 4, and the weekly update to Councillor’s on August 12 did not include them. They were withdrawn on August 15, so were ‘live’ at the time of the update.
“The Napier mayor has been insisting over the last few weeks that despite a run of senior managers, including two chief executives, leaving Council over the last 18 months, that there is not a culture problem at Napier Council,” said Mr Simpson.
“That beggars belief. If your chief executive feels they have to lodge an official information request to get information out of the council they head, there is very definitely a major problem. It is no wonder that projects aren’t getting anywhere and that our city is not going forward.”
Mr Simpson said that the issue confirmed his serious concerns about the openness and transparency of Napier’s Council. “If the mayor is not even telling councillors when something like this happens, what else is she not telling us – and what is she not telling residents?
“The very least we should expect is that the Mayor has an open and honest relationship with her chief executive and with her fellow councillors.”
Mr Simpson implored voters to do their research before voting. “We cannot go on like this.”
Nigel Simpson P: 027 467 7661 E: firstname.lastname@example.org