Positive start to DIA discussions

Invercargill City councillors are pleased to have made a positive start to discussions regarding the process it will put in place following a request for information from the Department of Internal Affairs.

Council considered the matter during a public excluded session of Council on Tuesday, August 25.

Department of Internal Affairs Representative Richard Hardie attended the meeting via Zoom, and reassured Council that this was not unusual work for the department.

Mr Hardie said the department’s letter was about wanting to understand how the Council could put previous issues behind it and move forward by “focussing on the really important things for the city.”

He was impressed with the suggestion that Council looked to the independent chair of its Risk and Assurance committee for guidance through the process, a suggestion which was later adopted by Council.

“[The] idea of having someone come in and work over a period of time … sends a strong message that you’re looking to address your problems and move on,” Mr Hardie told Councillors.

His Worship the Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt said Tuesday afternoon’s meeting was positive in that council had found a way forward with everyone on board.

Chief Executive Clare Hadley said the next steps included the Council leadership group meeting on Thursday this week to outline a draft plan, which will be presented to full Council at an extraordinary meeting that same afternoon.

“This will allow us to provide an initial response to the DIA by Friday, August 28 as requested.”

A timeframe for further work will also be developed, Mrs Hadley said.