Finance

Anwar Kargil Mayor Sir Tim Shedbolt is “anxious” and awaits an apology for an email leak.

Anwar Kargil’s mayor, Sir Tim Shedbolt, is disappointed that he has not yet heard from the council’s chief executive after an obstructional e-mail was used against him.

The council of Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shedbolt came under scrutiny after an independent review late last year.

Anwar Kargil Mayor Sir Tim Shedbolt.
Image: Otago Daily Times / Stephen Jackery.

Last week, Sir Tim was blindfolded by council staff when an email he sent to the media was intercepted and picked up an hour later in a closed meeting.

On Monday, it was revealed that the contents of the email – a response to a media request – had been picked up by the council’s chief executive, Claire Headley, as a late item in a closed-door meeting.

Headley later admitted that he should not have shared the contents of the email, and said a review would be conducted.

But the man at the center of the crisis says he was not satisfied.

“I’m waiting for an apology I didn’t receive. I don’t know if it’s being monitored right now, I don’t know which other councilors can monitor my email,” Sir Tim said.

It could happen to any future mayor, so I’m fighting hard.

Sir Tim said he has not yet followed the story to the chief executive or any of the councilors.

“They think I’m a little lazy because I don’t deserve protection. I’m just as anxious as you can imagine.”

On Wednesday, Headley said arrangements had been made for council staff with the mayor, elected members and administrative staff to ensure a timely response to messages.

He acknowledged that this did not include monitoring.

Invercargill City Council chief executive Claire Headley is ready for next year's challenges.

Claire Headley, chief executive of Anwar Cargill City Council
Image: ODT / Luisa Girao

Councilor Alex Cricket said the council has instructed the chief executive to ensure that councilors and executive staff receive all communications from the mayor’s emails that are in full compliance with the full council.

Speaking to the media, the councilors expressed differing views on what came up with the mayor’s emails.

Cricket said the council missed important meetings because of the mayor’s negligence, while Rebecca Amundson assumed the emails were visible because of the Official Information Act.

Ian Pottinger said he would miss important information about the Three Waters, which was sent to Sir Tim by the mayor of Vimacre, Dan Gordon, but did not proceed.

Peter Kate said he was wary of using his council iPad due to privacy concerns and decided not to send emails.

Lindsay Abbott said she assumed the emails were for recipients only.

The results of the six-month follow-up of the Independent Governance Review at Anwar Cargill City Council were due to be released today but were postponed due to lockdown.

A council spokesman said staff were fully focused on the lockdown and would not comment until a review was made.

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Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service run in collaboration with RNZ, the News Publishers Association and NZ On Air.

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