Published 31 January 2006
Papakura District Council censured former deputy mayor Glenn Archibald tonight and voted him off committee positions & roles as a council representative on external organisations, but only with a 5-4 split on the penalties.
Cllr Archibald, a Papakura accountant, is in his fifth term as a councillor. He was elected deputy mayor in 2001 when his accuser now, current deputy mayor Katrina Piggott, turned the job down, then unsuccessfully contested the mayoralty at the 2004 election, coming third in a 4-way race. He will remain a member of committees where he was previously chairman or deputy chairman.
Cllr Piggott alleged last September that Cllr Archibald had breached the council’s code of conduct in dealings with councillors & staff. A conduct review committee was set up, with mayor John Robertson as chairman and Cllrs Peter Jones & Des Heard as members.
The committee met with Cllr Archibald in October & December, and with Cllr Piggott and her witness, Cllr Caroline Conroy, in November, deliberated on 21 December and found Cllr Archibald had breached the code numerous times since the October 2004 election.
Cllr Archibald didn’t recant, wasn’t asked to do so tonight â€“ and voted against all the committee’s recommended penalties. Cllrs Nancy Hawks, Ray Parker & Heard voted with Cllr Archibald against the recommended penalties.
The conduct review committee found Cllr Archibald breached the code provisions on dealing with other councillors in claims that:
councillors had allowed the chief executive, Theresa Stratton, to “supersede the roles of each of us as elected members who form this governing body” and in ongoing claims that meetings of councillors outside of formal publicly notified council meetings represented improper governance
Cllr Piggott was responsible for incurring a $15,000 legal cost to ratepayers as a result of an investigation by a previous council into matters in 2000 regarding allowances found to be unlawful; they’d been claimed by Cllr Archibald & 3 other councillors who were found to have relied upon his advice, and
demeaning remarks towards certain councillors when he tabled at a council meeting & read out his statement, Let me paint you Picasso’s Papakura in a nautical way.
On relations with staff, Cllr Archibald’s code breaches included statements where he:
questioned the integrity & competence of specific officers and their decision-making processes on at least 2 occasions in the previous 3 months, once in a public meeting and also in a private meeting
publicly criticised staff for their “inefficiency” & “duplication” of work
ridiculed the chief executive & her staff in a public meeting, accusing them if being “â€¦.. in a submarine that is currently off our radar screen, and that of the community, and
suggested in a memo to selected people that the chief executive may be “formulating leading or misleading recommendations that may suit her & her staff,” rather than providing advice.
The committee found the breaches were serious, “in that they reduce the effectiveness of council & its governance team, damage the credibility of council within the community, reduce trust & respect between elected members and injure the relationship between the elected members & the executive.”
The committee said Cllr Archibald acknowledged the allegations were correctly represented in nearly all instances. “However, he would not acknowledge any fault on his part, nor would he acknowledge that his words or actions breached the code of conduct.” He offered a conditional apology to councillors offended by his “Picasso’s Papakura” remarks.
“The committee finds this lack of acknowledgement disturbing. It suggests that Cllr Archibald does not accept the guidance provided to members in the code of conduct.”
Cllr Piggott produced plenty of evidence to support her allegations:
2 papers supported by council minutes
papers tabled at council meetings
memos Cllr Archibald had written
direct quotes of statements by Cllr Archibald in local newspapers
Cllr Conroy’s supporting evidence recalling statements made at council meetings
an unnamed source who alleged Cllr Archibald made certain statements at a community meeting in September 2005, and
notes Cllr Piggott made of a phone conversation she & Cllr Archibald had.
In the 2004 round of council appointments Cllr Archibald retained leading roles. Councillors concerned at the penalties against him raised 2 issues: one, that the council was depriving itself of expertise it sorely needed and, 2, that the other 7 councillors would all have a sharply increased workload.
Cllr Hawks â€“ herself stripped of committee roles by Cllr Archibald before â€“ said she didn’t bear a grudge: “I actually found it quite beneficial â€“ I could say what I liked.”
She wasn’t present when the second altercation occurred: “All I can say from reading through the notes, Cllr Archibald went over the top.” She said councillors were “cutting off our noses to spite our faces. These motions should be put aside, he should be asked to apologise â€“ the rest of it is quite petty.”
The mayor proposed a review of council committees & external representation in 12 months. Cllr Hawks wanted that review in 6 months, while Cllr Archibald said doing it in 12 months would be too close to the next election.
Cllr Piggott said: “I’m not happy to support 6 months. Cllr Archibald’s penance might last 6 months [but] as far as I’m concerned there’s still denial.”
Cllr Archibald will be replaced as:
chairman of the audit committee by Cllr Conroy
deputy chairman of the operations & monitoring committee by Cllr Peter Goldsmith, and
as a member of the resource consents committee.
The mayor recommended Cllr Archibald’s appointment as council representative on 3 bodies and “merely as an alternate” on 4 others be rescinded:
ARTNL (Auckland Regional Transport Network Ltd) shareholders representative group (Mr Robertson said that group was winding down, and Cllr Conroy was later appointed as Papakura’s representative on a new body, the Auckland Transport Plan Advisory Group)
Local Government NZ zone 1 (replaced by Cllr Jones)
Watercare Services shareholders representative group (which the mayor said he participated in; Cllr Archibald replaced by Cllr Piggott),
and as an alternate on the Ardmore airport noise consultative group
on the Regional Growth Forum (replaced by Cllr Goldsmith)
and on 2 groups formed by the growth forum,
the southern corridor & sector group, and
southern sector transport.
30 October 2001: Papakura mayor holds back faction plans
Attribution: Council agenda, meeting coverage, story written by Bob Dey for this website.