21 Nov 2013

Councillor renews call for external CEO inquiry

4:22 pm on 21 November 2013

A long-serving Whangarei councillor has renewed his call for an external inquiry into the behaviour of council's chief executive Mark Simpson.

Crichton Christie said concerns raised in an affidavit by the chief executive's advisor, Ford Watson, should be investigated by an outside agency.

A team of councillors and an Auckland lawyer reviewed Mr Simpson's actions, after he sacked a staff member for nominating a mayoral candidate, but allowed Mr Watson to work on the mayoral campaign of the council's finance chair.

The review concluded Mr Simpson's actions could not be criticised.

Mr Christie said the implications for the council were serious and urgent, and Minister of Local Government Chris Tremain should appoint an independent person to investigate.