From: Lee Vandervis <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, 27 October 2020 at 1:23 PM
To: Emma Perry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Hamish MacLean <email@example.com>
Subject: FW: Alleged breach of Code of Conduct Final
Ta for your interest in this issue Emma,
The response I hope to have the opportunity to deliver is as below.
Dunedin City Council decisions and reports should be evidence-based and balanced.
In my experience they are increasingly not evidence-based, and this latest Code of Conduct report shows how evidence can be suppressed or simply ignored.
This Code of Conduct report has been written by an investigator whose previous DCC Code of Conduct report was so deficient that she omitted to interview or communicate in any way with the complainant, completely contradicted herself on the fundamental issue of materiality, and ignored written first-person email evidence.
I have complained about this investigator [which the ODT falsely reported as having found FOR my Code of Conduct complaint against Mayor Hawkins] to our Acting Chief Executive.
I have also made a formal complaint to the NZ Law Society about this investigator, and was amazed that she was again chosen to investigate the current Code of Conduct complaint against me.
Last year’s DCC Code of Conduct process created a storm of negative publicity against me in the run-up to last year’s Mayoral election which came from a leak within the Council. The Code of Conduct was a diversion response to a complaint I made about a Council employee and a faulty parking machine. My complaint about the employee not doing her job was ignored.
I have personally financed Court Action against the DCC and the investigator of these abuses of bureaucratic process that is set down for a Judicial Review to be heard in the High Court on the 19th of November next month.
I do not recognise this current investigator, her report, or the current Code of Conduct process for these and other reasons, but I wish to speak to what has been alleged now as my only opportunity to publicly provide my evidence regarding my latest alleged Code of Conduct breach.
WHAT DID I ACTUALLY SAY and why is what I said never mentioned?
In many pages of evidence from Mayoral A-team Councillors Garey, Walker and Laufiso, the only words of mine recorded are my parting ‘I will point at whoever I like’, which was in response to Deputy Garey’s demand ‘Don’t you dare point at me!’.
My raised voice was in response to Garey’s false accusation that I “was just having a go”, cutting across my complaint of her not doing her job as Deputy Mayor.
The meeting video evidence shows Deputy Garey ruling without establishing what my Point of Order was. Garey simply parroted Mayor Hawkins’ inappropriate defence of himself on the Point of Order, absurdly claiming that “I didn’t mention you Cr Vandervis”, while at the same time admitting that it was inappropriate to rule on a Point of Order against himself.
Deputy Garey was not doing her job as she had an obligation to consider and rule on my point of order and not simply regurgitate what the Mayor claimed.
There is a history of my being critical of Deputy Garey’s actions as a Councillor, going back to her being the Councillor representative for over a year on the board of the Fortune Theatre, and not telling Council that the Fortune was in dire straits until the situation could not be saved and the decision was already made to close and sell-up all Fortune assets.
This Code of Conduct arose because I again criticised Deputy Garey for not doing her job, that she was instead parroting Mayor Hawkins’ ‘I didn’t mention you Cr. Vandervis’ absurdity, and was promoting Cr Benson-Pope to yet another 2GP paid position of power despite perceived conflicts of interest as highlighted by myself and others like Cr. Houlahan.
In the Code of Conduct against me, I am falsely accused by Cr Walker of Screaming and Yelling, which has made damaging ODT Headlines, but which was untrue and not even possible given the evidence of others in the room like Cr. Radich who is recorded as having heard nothing at all less than 10 meters away while talking with the ODT reporter.
The reason I raised my voice to Deputy Garey was that she refused to listen to my description of what my point of order actually was and she cut across my initially conversational tone with the false accusation that I was “just having a go”, which was untrue but exactly what Mayor Hawkins did, resulting in my Point of Order.
Overnight I recognised that it was a mistake to raise my voice even when provoked, and I sent an apology to all within earshot next morning for that and for not putting my complaints of Deputy Garey in writing.
I also resolved in my apology to ensure that I make all such future complaints in writing. That should have been the end of it, but an opportunity was then seized on by Mayor Hawkins’ A-team, now an attack team, to publicly discredit the only serious challenger to their Mayoralty.
Also untrue is the claim that our faces were only 20cm apart. I am insufficiently fond of Deputy Mayor of Dunedin City Garey to have been anywhere near that close to her.
Deputy Garey and Cr Walker have accused me in this Code of Conduct of being excessively tall, male and red in the face. As Cr. O’Malley noted, I have a ruddy complexion anyway. Regarding the other accusations, I refuse to have height-corrective or transgender surgery, or to employ make-up like Deputy Garey to hide my true face.
The accusation is true that I pointed at Deputy Garey to emphasise that it was her rather than those crowding around that I was addressing, but the accusation of ‘repeated stabbing motions to her face’ is untrue.
Another accusation from Cr Walker is that I was “almost spitting”. Like being ‘almost elected’, this confirms that I was not spitting at all, and again confirms Cr. Waker’s bias as he will clutch at ‘almosts’ in an attempt to discredit me and to make damaging headlines.
As with previous Code of Conduct arguments against me, this one is entirely a ‘tone argument’ defined in Wikipedia as “a personal attack and anti-debate tactic based on criticizing a person for expressing emotion. Tone argument detracts from the validity of a statement by attacking the tone in which it was presented rather than the message itself.”
While I reject all the Code of Conduct claims from Garey, Walker and Laufiso, and the one-sided investigator, I do admit that it was my mistake to complain to her verbally, and also my mistake to have raised my voice. I sincerely apologised for both of these mistakes in my email to her and others within earshot the following morning.
My undertaking in that apology to make all my future non-public complaints in writing should ensure that there is no further opportunity for such unpleasantness.
Cr. Lee Vandervis