Carry out cases that cost taxpayers

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By Grant Miller from

More than $ 55,000 of taxpayer dollars has been spent investigating complaints about Dunedin City Council’s code of conduct since the 2019 election.

Lee Vandervis, Dunedin City Councilor.

Dunedin City Councilor Lee Vandervis (R).
Photo: RNZ / Tess Brunton

One case ($ 25,841) was where Cr Lee Vandervis behaved in an intimidating manner when he confronted Deputy Mayor Christine Garey after a council meeting in July of last year.

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Another case ($ 14,148) involved a parking dispute involving Cr Vandervis ahead of the 2019 election, but the case was challenged in court last year.

A third complaint ($ 12,003) came from Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins, who leaked information from a November 2019 meeting to former chief executive Sue Bidrose when he should not have been.

The three cases have so far totaled $ 51,992 in costs to the board. This information was contained in a response to a request from the The New Zealand Herald.

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An August 2020 complaint by Cr Jules Radich against Cr David Benson-Pope cost $ 1,202, but it was found to be without merit.

Two other complaints about online communication cost a total of $ 3,668, but were found not to be material.

The cost of advising Dunedin on these matters was the highest in New Zealand.

This story first appeared on The Otago Daily Times website.

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