12 Dec 2012

Southland chair stands down following hoax radio call

4:47 pm on 12 December 2012

The Southland Regional Council chairhas stood down, following revelations she made a prank call to Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt, pretending to be a struggling mother,

The council's acting chair, Nicol Horrell, has confirmed Ali Timms has gone on six weeks' leave of absence, effective immediately following the call, which was televised on a local station.

Mr Horrell says councillors have unanimously expressed extreme disapproval of the unacceptable lapse of judgement shown by Ms Timms in taking part in Invercargill City Council's televised talkback programme under an assumed name last week.

"Well the councillors this morning have unanimously expressed their extreme disapproval of Ali's actions, and using a false name to make a call to the Invercargill City Council's talkback show last week.

"Ali's done a great job as chairman over the last two years and she's apologised to every councillor and also to the mayor, Tim Shadboldt."

Mr Horrell says councillors expect to hold an extraordinary meeting to consider the chairmanship in late January.