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Source: Taxpayers Union

3 MARCH 2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe public attacks and investigations against a Hutt City Councillor asking questions about allegations relating to the Mayor, look more like a vindictive witch hunt than a Council striving for good ethical standards, says the Taxpayers’ Union.“For some time we have been aware of allegations of serious ethical failings relating to the Mayor and his family which strike to the heart of his responsibility as an elected official,” says Jordan Williams, a Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson.“But instead of the Council calling in independent investigators they appear obsessed with chasing Councillor Chris Milne, alleging code of conduct violations that don’t seem to stack up. Even if they are real, they are no where near as serious as what the Council doesn’t want to investigate vis-à-vis the Mayor.”“Particularly concerning is the apparent lack of objectivity shown by the Council’s new Chief Executive and senior officials. While they use legal threats to shut down valid questions about the Mayor, when it comes to his political opponents they jump on any chance to launch a ratepayer-funded investigation.”“It is concerning to see that the media are re-publishing one side of the allegations, but choosing not the publish the other ‘for legal reasons’, despite knowing full well the details. The Dominion Post might want to reflect on whose hands they are playing into and remind themselves that their role is to hold those in power to account, rather than be their proxies.”Yesterday the Taxpayers’ Union wrote to hundreds of Hutt City Council staff to inform them that sources of information leaked to the Taxpayers’ Union relating to disfunction and waste within the Council will be held in the strictest confidence. This followed the Council going to the High Court last week to obtain an interim injunction against a former Hutt City Councillor (also a political opponent of the Mayor) for publishing a ‘confidential’ document that was shared with all of the council’s 550 staff.