Mayor Accepts Auditor-General’s View
Friday 13 April 2012
Tasman’s Mayor Richard Kempthorne has today accepted the view of the Auditor General that a flyer sent out with the Council’s Newsline newspaper last week was in breach of the Council’s resolution not to spend any money promoting or opposing the proposal to unite Tasman and Nelson Councils.
Mayor Kempthorne said I was conscious that we had taken the decision not to promote or oppose the proposal as a Council and the intent of the flyer was purely to provide answers to some of the key questions raised in recent public meetings and to provide information not available in other material currently in circulation.
“The Auditor General has taken the view when read as a whole the flyer was not neutral and opposes amalgamation. I have accepted that view and will accordingly make good the loss incurred to Council as a result of the publication. The amount I will reimburse Council is $3,088.14 (GST inclusive), which covers the set up, production, and distribution costs of the flyer”.
Under the Local Government Act, any unauthorised expenditure promoting or opposing the reorganisation proposal is treated as a loss and all elected members can be held “jointly and severally” liable. However, Mayor Kempthorne says that he takes personal responsibility for the content of the flyer and does not wish his fellow elected members to be exposed to the recovery of the debt.
Mayor Kempthorne said that in his view the matter is now closed.
“The remedy for the expenditure breach has been met and I do not see that the flyer in any way jeopardises the integrity of the poll and nor should it stop people from casting their vote on this important matter”