• Fri. Oct 28th, 2022

Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt out in the cold for national conference, where for “every other city in New Zealand, it will be the mayor," who votes.

Jun 14, 2021

It is a hell of a lonely place, Sir Tim Shadbolt says of his Invercargill council as he feels outnumbered and has lost the support of his colleagues.
The comments came after he was asked about him no longer carrying out voting duties on behalf of Invercargill at the Local Government New Zealand Conference in July.
Previously Shadbolt has been Invercargills official delegate and there has been no public reason given as to why that has changed this year.
He had carried out the voting duties on behalf of the Invercargill council for the past 23 years, and was unhappy his colleagues had overlooked him as mayor and given the duties to someone else, he said.
Shadbolt was disappointed by the decision.
Every other city in New Zealand, it will be the mayor [voting], Shadbolt said.
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Invercargill mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt chairing a city council meeting. (File photo)
He opted not to fight the decision because he was now outnumbered at the council and pointed to it as another example of the lonely position he was in, he said.
At a weekly meeting on May 25, where chairmen and deputies of council committees meet, it was recommended that councillor Darren Ludlow will vote on remits at the conference on behalf of the council.
It is not apparent why Ludlow was recommended ahead of the mayor from the in-committee meeting that was held.
It was also agreed that Alex Crackett would be the alternate delegate if Ludlow was absent for whatever reason.
At a June 8 council committee meeting, for which Shadbolt put in an apology and did not attend, the appointment of Ludlow and Crackett was confirmed.
Councillor Darren Ludlow will be the Invercargill City Councils official voting delegate at next months Local Government New Zealand Conference. (File photo)
At that meeting, deputy mayor Nobby Clark backed the decision because he felt Ludlow and Crackett would be able to keep up with any amendments or discussions throughout the voting process.
Stuff approached Ludlow on Monday to ask why Shadbolt was overlooked and he replied: It was a unanimous decision from the council and it was not challenged.
Ludlow added that while Shadbolt had previously been the official delegate at the Local Government NZ conference, on occasions he did not do the actual voting, which is done via a button.
I did it for him one year.
Shadbolt could have challenged the decision at last weeks meeting if he had concerns but he was not in attendance in person or by videolink, Ludlow said.
Stuff also approached Clark on Monday to clarify why he felt Ludlow and Crackett would be able to keep up with any amendments, and he replied that he believed the councillors would be better suited to the job than Shadbolt.
Invercargill deputy mayor Nobby Clark, left, and mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt at an Invercargill City Council meeting. (File photo)
Shadbolt has been registered as an attendee for the conference in Blenheim alongside Ludlow, Crackett, Ian Pottinger, and chief executive Clare Hadley from the Invercargill council.
The deputy mayor said his relationship with Shadbolt was strained.
Clark took over last year as deputy mayor but he said the pair now had very, very little contact.
I have tried to engage with him but it has been a wall of silence.
Shadbolt acknowledged he did not have a lot of support from his fellow council colleagues and said he would now let the people have their say at the next election.
I have even given them some fatherly advice … they should put their names in and pick one out to run [against me]. Otherwise, I will win. I told them that last time.
An independent report was released in November last year which highlighted that Shadbolt was struggling to fulfil his role as mayor and, as a result, there was a leadership void at the council.
Shadbolt rubbished the findings.
As part of the report recommendations, Jeff Grant and Lindsay McKenzie have been appointed as independent appointees to help the council.
Grant said the Project Governance Group would provide an update on the progress at the next full council meeting on June 30.
The performance of Shadbolt was not something they were looking at or would comment on, Grant said.
He added they did not get involved in matters such as Ludlow taking on the voting job at the Local Government New Zealand conference.
We dont get into the politics, Grant said.