18 Dec 2012

Council to discuss golden handshake details

9:19 am on 18 December 2012

Kaipara District Council will discuss on Tuesday whether to break a confidentiality agreement with its former chief executive and reveal why it paid him to leave.

It says community suspicion may be hampering efforts to quell a rates revolt and get the debt-ridden council back on track.

Jack McKerchar resigned last year with a severance payment of $240,000 after disclosures that millions of dollars of rates set during his tenure, had been invalid.

Despite pressure from a ratepayer group, the council has refused to release the deed of settlement.

But chief executive Steve Ruru now says it may be more in the public interest to release the deed than to preserve Mr McKerchar's privacy.

Mangawhai Ratepayers Association chairman Bruce Rogan said Mr McKerchar presided over the borrowing fiasco that has left the council with a debt of $80 million and he should not have been paid to leave.