Tauranga City Council has confirmed the appointment of a panel of six people who can be called upon to form a three-person committee to consider the outcome of any elected member Code of Conduct breach.
The appointments of Lara Burkhardt, Andrew Green, Vanessa Hamm, Rhys Harrison QC, Richard Marchant and Sue Tindal were confirmed in a public-excluded section of a council meeting on Tuesday, 8 September.
Chief Executive Marty Grenfell had been delegated the responsibility of shortlisting potential candidates and approaching them to confirm their availability. “The appointments to the panel will ensure we have a multi-skilled team available to oversee any Code of Conduct issues,” Mr Grenfell said.
“Each person brings distinct skills and perspectives to the committee and collectively, they offer a wealth of experience.”
The committee has been set up to hear and decide on complaints under the council’s Code of Conduct, which is a set of standards the mayor and councillors have agreed to work to in the course of their duties.
The six panel members will work as a ‘pool’, with three to be chosen to consider each complaint, based on their availability and the nature of the complaint. Appointees will be reimbursed for their time only when complaints are heard.
The term of the appointments is three years.
The appointments come after the Council adopted a proactive response to a Department of Internal Affairs request that the Council provide evidence that it was taking steps to “restore trust and confidence” in its ability to meet the Crown’s expectations of a high-performing council.
Last week, a Review and Observer Team was established to provide support, guidance and assistance to ensure that elected members can work together, make effective decisions, and address any behaviours which might affect their decision-making on behalf of the city.