Formal Code of Conduct Complaint

From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 11:01
To: Chris Staynes, Chris Staynes
Cc: Mayor Cull, Sandy Graham
Subject: Formal Code of Conduct Complaint

Dear Chris,

In the interests of clarifying DCC elected member’s expected standards of conduct with respect to each other, please consider the following Code of Conduct Complaint of Mayor Cull in regard to his nationwide TV3 interview where he said;

Mayor Cull TV3

I believe that Mayor Cull’s public statement regarding the two Mayoral Candidates with political experience related clearly to Hilary Calvert and to myself, and the Mayor has confirmed this to me [in the same Councillor responsibilities meeting where he said “I have given you nothing”], that he publicly said I had “shonky policies”.

What he actually said was “Six of them have no public office experience, and the other two that do have a pretty shonky record at public office experience. You know, extreme, nutty policies.”

I note that the New Oxford Dictionary of English defines ‘shonky’ as meaning – “dishonest, unreliable, or illegal, especially in a devious way”.

As a Councillor my public office experience goes back before Mayor Cull’s, to 2004 when I was first elected to the DCC, and my policies have been broadly not to buy things that you can not afford, and not to run two Councils when one Unitary Council could do both jobs much more efficiently.

It was unfortunate that Mayor Cull chose to make this public comment without saying which of my policies were “extreme” or “nutty”, or how my pubic office experience since 2004 constituted a “pretty shonky record”. I would like Mayor Cull to explain exactly what in my record of public office experience has been pretty ‘dishonest, unreliable, or illegal’.

In any event I believe that Mayor Cull’s statement contravenes various DCC Code of Conduct requirements, particularly J3.1 Relationships with other members.

“…elected members shall conduct their dealings with each other in ways that:
[c] focus on issues rather than personalities
[d] Avoid aggressive, offensive or abusive conduct.”

I believe that there are reasonable grounds for believing that at least this provision of the Code of Conduct has been been breached and that the matter should be referred to the Code of Conduct Committee for investigation. Mayor Cull’s statement was certainly offensive to me and offensive to many of my supporters.

I need to remind you that on the previous occasion where I  made a formal Code of Conduct Complaint of the Mayor to you as Deputy Mayor, that you failed to act on the Complaint and that you stalled proceedings against the Mayor for so long that the Complaint was eventually dropped after a year of inaction by you as ‘too much water under the bridge’.

In the event that I do not receive a prompt [within 2 days] decision from you one way or the other, I reserve the right to publicly encourage you to make a decision, something I regret not having done last time.

If you find that there are no reasonable grounds for a Code of Conduct investigation, I will welcome the clarity and the new line drawn in the sand regarding how elected members may refer to each other.

If you decide that an investigation is warranted and breach of the Code indentified, I look forward to at least a prompt “appropriate apology” from Mayor Cull [J4.2], appropriately on the same Nationwide TV3 news where his statement as above was publicly made.

Kind regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis



Mayor Cull dismisses challengers
By Brooke Gardiner, 3 News, Monday 07 Oct 2013 8:06a.m.


About Lee Vandervis

My name is Lee Vandervis and I was born in Balclutha 60 years ago to Dutch immigrant parents who ran a successful building contractor business. I have been passing Dad nails since I can remember and I learned to swing a hammer usefully early in life. My parents always pushed the values of thrift and a broad education. At Otago University I gained a BA in Philosophy before going to London for 5 years overseas experience, working in electronics manufacturing and rising to Production Manager of Midas Audio UK, building mixing consoles for musicians like Stevie Wonder, Supertramp and Pink Floyd. I returned to Dunedin in 1981 to have a family and set up Vandervision Lighting Audio and Video, making it Dunedin’s largest lighting hire business, and restoring heritage buildings like Dundas st Church and 401 Moray Place along the way. I sold most of my business interests when first elected to the DCC in 2004. Dunedin City Councillor profile:
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.