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Source: Taxpayers Union

The complete dysfunction at Invercargill City Council has been exposed by the sudden resignation of Deputy Mayor Toni Biddle. She cited the “toxic and unhealthy” environment at the council, and the strain of doing the mayor’s job for him which put her in hospital for panic attacks.New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says this sad situation highlights the urgent need for recall elections in local government. Ratepayers should not have to wait until the next election to get rid of Mayors or councillors who are clearly not up to the job.Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke said: “Sir Tim Shadbolt has had a very long and lucrative career in local government. Last year, he won the Taxpayers’ Union’s Jonesie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Government Waste. He has got his money, he has got his gong, now he needs to go.”“Rather than accept that he should resign because he has lost the support of his industrious deputy and many other councillors, Shadbolt reportedly plans to stand again. That is tone deaf. Ratepayers should not have to wait two years to show Tim the door. A recall election, basically a referendum triggered by 10% of ratepayers, would solve the problem of a past-it politician like Sir Tim immediately and democratically.”“Former Deputy Mayor Biddle has called for a Department of Internal Affairs commissioner. That might be the only way forward under the current policy settings. However, with recall elections, hard-working Invercargill ratepayers would have the right to call time on Sir Tim’s mayoralty.”The Taxpayers’ Union has produced a proposal paper on recall elections at