Lee Vandervis on DCC Code of Conduct process #emails #naturaljustice

Two emails this evening.

I

Received from Lee Vandervis
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 at 6:15 p.m.

█ Message: I am forwarding this email to you so that my view of the on-going Code of Conduct process can be made clear, something I can not hope for from the ODT.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 11:36:37 +1300
To: Mayor Cull, Stuart Anderson [University of Otago], Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Lee Vandervis, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Cc: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Pam Jordan
Conversation: Complaint to Mayor Cull and potential Code of Conduct Committee members
Subject: Complaint to Mayor Cull and potential Code of Conduct Committee members

Dear Mayor Cull,

By failing to respond to your required justifications under standing orders J1 Accountability [accountable for their actions] and Openness [be prepared to justify their actions] as well as the overarching principle of Natural Justice, you are prejudicing this Code of Conduct process.
If you will not justify your decisions to accept certain code of Conduct complaints with reasons, and your deputy will not justify or give his reasons for rejecting my initial conforming Code of Conduct complaint against you, my legal advice is that it leaves open the question that you can not justify your Code of Conduct decisions and that consequently there are no reasons available for an investigation on which to mount a defence.

The facts are that you have falsely claimed the authority to chose the membership of a Code of Conduct Committee against me, [and that you are again attempting the same under another guise] and you have decided to accept a Code of Conduct complaint that is agreed did not conform, and you now accept another non-conforming similar complaint ex Cr. Wilson and you refuse to give the required reasons for accepting specific claimed complaints.
All this contributes to a process so prejudiced by you that any consequential decision can not be valid.
Cr. Wilson’s second Code of Conduct complaint against me does again not conform under J4.1 for exactly the same reason you have recognised in the first Staynes/Thomson attempt – that it is devoid of any evidence, record, or taking down of words used as required under Standing Orders for a conforming complaint. As with the Staynes/Thomson complaint, it merely offers a damning tone judgement without providing any evidence. The documentary ‘evidence’ presented in only part of the Staynes/Thomson revisited complaint has been tampered with and the untampered evidence actually confirms my objected-to claim.

It is not clear as you claim that I was at any time happy for you to chose members of the Conduct Committee. The complete opposite should be clear to you especially when I wrote as below;
“at what date did you discover that you are not in fact empowered to appoint the Code of Conduct Committee, as detailed in Standing Orders and in the Structures and Delegations manual?
Having discovered this over-reach of your authority, what steps did you then take to remedy imposing your choice of members for the Code of Conduct Committee?”

I still await your answers to these process questions.

On the subject of Committee membership, I can not agree to be any part of any Code of Conduct process that includes Cr Benson-Pope as a Code of Conduct Committee member. Any conduct decision from Cr Benson-Pope would be tainted by his extraordinary long and public history of personal conduct issues [some of which I can list if required]. Any other Councillor of long experience would be preferable, and in Cr Benson-Pope’s case necessary. Never mind his personal antipathy toward me that almost rivals yours.

I also object to item 24 being Confidential and in the non-public part of the agenda. There is nothing in the report apart perhaps from the unnecessary naming of the position of Chair of Audit and Risk Committee that can warrant going against the default spelled out in J4.1 of Standing Orders that “Council will consider the [Code of Conduct] report in open meeting of the Council…” . Additionally, making it Confidential and non-public gives the false impression that as I am the publicly advertised target of the complaints I have something to hide.

In short, for item 24 proposed for Monday’s Council meeting to proceed;
1 – you should redact the unnecessary naming of the position of Chair of Audit and Risk and must move the report into the public part of the meeting.
2 – your recommendation of Cr. Benson-Pope for Code of Conduct Committee membership needs to change to a viable Council member. Preferably you should sit back from making any recommendations yourself.
3 – you need to give reasons for your acceptance of both Code of Conduct complaints for forwarding to the Code of Conduct Committee, and you need to recognise your past failures in appropriately assessing complaints.
4 – written ‘eye-witness account evidence’ that you infer as existing must accompany the original Code of Conduct complaints [as mine does in my complaint of you] and not come later in order for you to even consider it for forwarding for an investigation.

Until these appropriate process requirements are met, I can not recognise the item 24 process you propose for Monday’s non public agenda.

My legal advice is that if these matters are not rectified the purported hearing becomes a nonsense and any subsequent decision will certainly not be enforceable.

Currently my advice is also that if these matters are not rectified I should not attend any Code of Conduct hearing and I should ignore any consequential purported decisions.

Regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

On 18/02/15 11:01 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

Hi Lee,
I am running the process of Code of Conduct complaints as per Standing Orders but taking no other role. It appears that I initially mistated how the Conduct Committee would be appointed. The Council will now do that. However it is clear from your email below that you were happy for me to choose the members of the Conduct Committee.
I will not be responding further to your pseudo legal questions so as not to prejudice the process.

Dave

From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 10:09 PM
To: Dave Cull; Andrew Noone; Andrew Whiley; Chris Staynes; Doug Hall; Hilary Calvert; John Bezett; Jinty MacTavish; Kate Wilson; Lee Vandervis; Mayor Cull; Mike Lord; Neville Peat; Richard Thomson; David Benson-Pope; Aaron Hawkins; Sue Bidrose
Cc: Pam Jordan
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct complaints

Dear Mayor Cull,

Thank you for advising me that you are satisfied “that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a provision of the Code has been breached” as below.
My advice is that you are required to detail what these ‘reasonable grounds’ are under Standing Orders J1 Accountability [accountable for their actions] and Openness [be prepared to justify their actions] as well as the overarching principle of Natural Justice.
I am particularly interested in your reasons, given that you were also satisfied with the initial Staynes/Thomson complaint which is now accepted as being deficient and non-conforming under Standing Orders.

Regarding you verbal claim to me that you are personally authorised to choose the membership of the Code of Conduct Committee against me, and your written claim as below;

“From: Dave Cull
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 03:54:35 +0000
To: Lee Vandervis
Cc: Sandy Graham
Subject: Code of conduct panel

Dear Cr Vandervis,

Following our correspondence re the appointment of a panel to hear the Code of Conduct complaint against you, I have appointed three people as per Standing Orders requirements.”

at what date did you discover that you are not in fact empowered to appoint the Code of Conduct Committee, as detailed in Standing Orders and in the Structures and Delegations manual?

Having discovered this over-reach of your authority, what steps did you then take to remedy imposing your choice of members for the Code of Conduct Committee?

Looking forward to your open clarifying responses.
Cr. Lee Vandervis

On 11/02/15 12:28 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

Dear Cr Vandervis,
I understand you have been informed that two Code of Conduct Complaints have been made against you by Crs Staynes and Thomson and Cr Wilson respectively. In both cases I am satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a provision of the Code has been breached. Accordingly I will refer both matters to the Conduct Committee for investigation. I will report the matter to the next ordinary meeting of Council on 23rd February and ask Council to appoint the Conduct Committee members.

Dave

Dave Cull
Mayor of Dunedin

—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

II

Received from Lee Vandervis
Mon, 23 Feb 2015 at 6:17 p.m.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:00:05 +1300
To: Chris Morris [ODT]
Conversation: Mayoral statement – Conduct Committee
Subject: Re: Mayoral statement – Conduct Committee

Hi Chris,

Today Mayor Cull’s second attempt to stack a Code of Conduct Committee against me was successful after his first attempt was shown loudly to be an overreaching abuse of his authority. The acceptance of non-conforming complaints against me without reasons given by Mayor Cull on the back of the refusal, again without his reasons given, of the Deputy Mayor to accept my initial conforming complaint against the Mayor makes the current process a farce. The Mayor may want to try and justify his actions to you but has refused to give the required reasons to me.

Cheers,
Lee

On 23/02/15 5:16 PM, “Chris Morris” [ODT] wrote:

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Mayoral statement – Conduct Committee
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2015 04:05:04 +0000
From: Andrea Jones [DCC]
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Hi everyone

Mayoral statement attached.

Regards

Andrea Jones
Communications Team Leader, Council Communications and Marketing
Dunedin City Council

—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

█ For more, enter the terms *vandervis*, *cull*, *bidrose*, *citifleet* or *deloitte* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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48 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Democracy, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics

48 responses to “Lee Vandervis on DCC Code of Conduct process #emails #naturaljustice

  1. Elizabeth

    ### dunedintv.co.nz February 23, 2015 – 7:06pm
    Councillor Lee Vandervis the subject of code of conduct complaints
    A conduct committee has been formed to investigate complaints against Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis. Professor Stuart Anderson, of the Otago University law faculty, has been appointed as chairman of the committee. Councillor Vandervis is the subject of two separate code of conduct complaints. The conduct committee was established behind closed doors, in the non-public part of a council meeting this afternoon.
    Fellow city councillors John Bezett and David Benson-Pope have been appointed to the committee. They’ll meet to consider the complaints as soon as possible.
    Ch39 Link [no video available]

  2. Peter

    Where are all the other councillors on this? Do they approve? Are they happy for important council business to be diverted by the pettiness and vindictiveness of a few?
    This council is looking so dysfunctional, it is not funny. Nothing good will come from this and the brown stuff will inevitably be thrown from all directions. You would think there is someone there with a bit of common sense to end it.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Isn’t this reminiscent of the 4th form bullying that went on in Parliament when Judith Collins and her besties got snarky about Metiria Turei’s jacket!
      This is more serious because it’s a deep-seated sour grudge that takes up more of Dave Cull’s energy than he can spare (judging by his overall performance in his proper role). Others probably join because Lee isn’t on “their side” – he’s on the ratepayers’! – and keeps raising awkward points, asking awkward questions, shows up those who are inadequately prepared or taking the easy route of pleasing certain interest groups without worrying about the cost.

      • Hype
        You will have seen Cull’s performance on the Broadband promo video yesterday. He could hardly speak coherently. He is functionally disabled, Utterly stuffed. He should go – now. Before he can do any more damage to the city.

        {Link added. -Eds}

  3. Elizabeth

    Other councillors voted with Mr Cull to leave the item in non-public and only Cr Vandervis was opposed.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 24 Feb 2015
    Vandervis to face hearing
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis will face a code of conduct committee over two alleged outbursts. Councillors considered two code of conduct complaints against Cr Vandervis in the non-public part of yesterday’s full council meeting, in which they agreed there was a case to answer for each.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      It’s been “taking sides” time. Remember what it was like at school? It wasn’t smart to side with the person the coolest kids had decided to pick on. Even if you thought the picked-on kid was OK you knew that if you were seen to be on their side the next person for the gang to turn on would be yourself.

      • Elizabeth

        Re schoolyard dynamics, Hype, I never got picked on due to early advice from a parent and thence crafted my position as never look stupid enough to be a victim. It was very conscious, later reinforced by tough hockey playing and general positivist demeanour, and sensible choice of colleagues. Not everyone has the opportunity to float things this way.

        Dunedin has always had a poor local government, its history during my half century has been littered with direct comment on this from (the interior of) surrounding district councils prior to amalgamation.

        Now that being a mayor or councillor is a paid position the rot has truly set in for incredibly hopeless, deceitful, expensive and bureaucratic separation from the “rhyme and reason” of community service and commonsense adherence to council core business – massively weighted down by the leaden Local Government Act and Amendments.

        I absolutely agree with Rob Hamlin here. Got to collectively take the onus off an individual – with new regimes to meet the statutory climate and unzip the Dunedin basket case.

      • Why am I filled with a feeling of foreboding. Why do I have visions of kangaroos. What is it about the ides of March.- Caesar’s Ghost?

  4. Rob Hamlin

    This council is not dysfunctional. From the perspective of those who really matter it’s working very well – except for one irritation. Thus, it’s a bit like an oyster making a pearl around that last remaining irritating grain of sand before making itself fully comfortable and slamming itself firmly shut for good. Mc.P. is working hard on the story, but again the commentators are not cooperating, and that’s just the ones that appear on the thread.

    The new ‘post-stadium’ councillors are disappointing to the degree that I think that it’s becoming necessary to think about setting up an active anti-Greater Dunedin group that is specifically dedicated to selecting councillors who have the capacity to challenge the regime in place and that have no existing or potential links with the Good Old Boys, and then supplying them with the necessary support to get them elected in the face of what is likely to be a very hostile media environment – We cannot rely on Lee holding this oyster open forever on his own. If he goes, then the seal on what’s going on will become hermetic.

  5. Peter

    I have always been brought up with the belief that if someone is sincerely remorseful for an over the top emotion, which goes well beyond the pale, they are forgiven and the issue is dealt with.
    However, what we seem to see here is a refusal to forgive. The complaint system set up is being used as a bullying device to control people. In this case, Lee Vandervis.
    It is indeed ironic that council meetings are opened with a Christian prayer. What a travesty. It does not reflect well on any councillor to go along with this behaviour without speaking up.
    This has the potential to get really nasty, for all concerned, if the stupidity of these actions is not put to rest.

  6. Elizabeth

    Belatedly, following publication of the post at the top of this thread, another release of hot particulate air:

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Code of Conduct Complaints

    This item was published on 24 Feb 2015

    A Conduct Committee has been formed to hear two Code of Conduct complaints against Dunedin City Councillor Lee Vandervis.
    In the non-public part of today’s Council meeting, the Council agreed to appoint Professor Stuart Anderson, of the Faculty of Law at the University of Otago, as Chair of the Committee. The other two Committee members are Crs John Bezett and David Benson-Pope.
    As per the Council decision, I am making public the membership of the Committee.
    The Committee will meet as soon as possible, depending on the availability of members.
    Contact Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin on 027 434 6917.
    DCC Link

    What if? Dunedin —Afterword:

    THERE’S NO POINT IN BEING A SHORT MAN.

  7. Lyndon Weggery

    I too express grave concern at the actions of this Council. For weeks now I have been asking where is the succinct data analysis that was recommended in the recent Stadium Review to justify the alleged millions that are supposed to be generated into the Dunedin economy when the Stadium is operational from time to time? – but to no avail. Furthermore the recommendations of the Stadium Review were supposed to be just that – recommendations for the draft LTP due next month. Yet last December two Stadium Directors were quietly replaced assuming we the ratepayer would still accept a DVML as was recommended. So much for consultation!!! Furthermore in the latest FYI the Mayor appears to be softening us up for a 3.7% rates increase when current inflation is barely 1%!! I thought prudent budgets were when you set a goal of no more than 3% (as he promised) and work back from there, making the hard decisions to not include anymore “nice to have” projects.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Wait for the rates bill when the Mosgiel pool project is added, complete with year-by-year cost blow-outs because “the cost of nails has gone up” etc. Plus propping-up because despite the assurances of ______ and _______ having learned the pattern set by the Fubar Stadium promoters, private funding will turn out to be hot air, and takings won’t come within a bull’s roar of covering operating expenses.

      We’ll be saying “Remember the good old days when rates increases were ONLY 2.7% greater than inflation!”

  8. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 25 Feb 2015
    Threat to boycott hearing on conduct
    By Chris Morris
    Dunedin city councillor Lee Vandervis has threatened to boycott a conduct committee hearing called to hear complaints about his behaviour. […] Cr Vandervis labelled the decision “a farce” and later responded by forwarding to the What If? Dunedin website for publication an email he sent to Mr Cull, councillors and Dunedin City Council staff on Sunday.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Should Mr Cull dedicate what remains of his mayoral term to accountability and transparency, both personally and as the measure expected of all elected representatives and council staff, we might feel we’ve got a paltry bargain.
      However, the fact Cull would deny a public video record of council business and exploit that denial in the formal minute record of the Dunedin City Council leaves us angry and incredulous.
      This on top of Cull’s pre-Christmas blaming of the deceased Brent Bachop for the whole of the “DCC Citifleet enterprise” that existed in utter fraudulence year after year during his mayoralty defies belief.
      In no particular order, there has been Cull’s less than wise support of (his personal solicitor) Mr Rodger’s waterfront hotel bid… Now there is his mayoral support and bulldozing, done with ‘secrecy’ aka pork barrel politics, for the unaffordable pool complex at Mosgiel, ramped up by lies and untruths the facilities lobby group have placed in print via a DCC media release this week – which ultimately destroys all confidence in the mayoral incumbent and every single one of his Greater Dunedin fellows.

    • I think that this ‘process’ should be treated with the contempt that it deserves. We are witnessing a farce perpetrated by a vindictive little man with very little between the ears and being pursued by a man known for his predilection for whacking. All this aided and abetted by a bunch of sycophantic non entities. W.S. Gilbert would love such a plot.

      • Elizabeth

        You always hope such plots are located in the harsh tundra of Central Otago where they near-die in summer due to lack of moisture, rather than owners of the newspapers shove the rail road (shhh, with water-tanks) through at the seedy broken down tumbleweed town of DUD.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Great to see that Cr Vandervis is “calling their bluff”. As his own legal adviser says, the “process would be a nonsense”. Mayor Dave Cull is looking sillier and sillier the longer this vindictive exercise goes on. It’s a personal grudge, plain and simple, based on the fact that Cr Vandervis continually challenges and questions the validity of many of the programmes being promoted by Cull and his subservient ‘cabal’. Isn’t that what people vote their choices in for? Is he expected to be a simple rubber stamp like the major portion of the remainder of council are? I don’t think so, in fact, were it not for his careful, well constructed comments, I suspect that the citizens would be much the worse for the actions of Cull and his sycophantic ‘Greater Dunedin’ wimps.
    Cr Vandervis’ comments re the impartiality of the assessment committee is reason alone to boycott its hearings. The appointee Cr Benson-Pope said that he had “no comment to make about that nonsense”, of Cr Vandervis’ referring to the well documented past of said gentleman.
    All in all, a very unsavory business which the city could well do without. Council is expected to be a responsible body dedicated to administering the city’s business in the best interests of its citizens. That is not what we are getting from the current leadership.

    • Russell Garbutt

      Wise move {re whatifdunedin keeping a private copy of Tom Lewis’ Coverups & Copouts} – a senior police officer is said to have told Tom Lewis that no-one would be able to read the book. It certainly is true that a lot of copies of the book that were in public libraries are now “missing”, but every now and again one shows up on Trade Me or in secondhand book shops. It is a fascinating read and particularly telling that none of the people named in the book for disgraceful or illegal behaviour have ever taken any form of action to dispute the content of the book or the allegations contained within it. A bit like that really interesting book called “Trial by Trickery” by Keith Hunter on the Sounds double murder case. No doubt that covering up behaviour by police or “prominent new zealanders” is a thriving business.

      In the case of this DCC shambles, it is all designed to deflect attention from the real issues. Cr Vandervis is doing the right thing by taking legal advice and forcing this mob to show their real colours.

  10. Anonymous

    It does seem to be a crusade of the Mayor’s. Not a rational one of course, so the more I read of this quickening madness I wonder just who is persuading him to act like he is. Something’s still rotten in the Dunedin City Council.

  11. Calvin Oaten

    A posting to the ODT online which from past experience is almost bound not to fly.

    Facing up to it
    new
    Submitted by Calvin Oaten on Wed, 25/02/2015 – 1:31pm.

    “Cr Vandervis was attacking the process and the people involved rather than facing up to the complaints and dealing with them,” Mr Cull said. Most, if not all would say that facing up to it is exactly what Mr Vandervis is doing. He has wisely taken legal counsel, considered the accusations made against him, considered the calibre of the committee, wrongly appointed by Mr Cull and the fact that his own complaint made against Mr Cull has been disregarded. Mr Cull then says, “It would appear Cr Vandervis thinks that a large number of people are conspiring to persecute him. I would ask what the common factor is.” To see that common factor he just needs to look in the mirror.

    Boycotting the process is the logical action.

    {Published at http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/334301/threat-boycott-hearing-conduct#comment-68394 -Eds}

  12. Peter

    I think this ridiculously childish bun fight is symptomatic when a council is breaking down, where the members, both administrative and political, spend more time undermining and attacking each other as things continue to go wrong.
    We know the financial mess that greeted Paul Orders, and then Sue Bidrose and Grant McKenzie, is not of their initial making. They have done well in getting rid of some incompetent/disreputable people in management.
    However, the recent criticism landed on them by the Audit Office for the quality of reports over the last year, and the continued, stalled processing of OIAs by Governance, is not a good look, which is at least acknowledged by them without making excuses.
    The onus is now on Sue Bidrose’s team to put pressure on their political masters to show restraint.
    Cull and his Greater Dunedin team are now largely into their third term and they have done nothing substantial in reducing city debt. Instead we are faced with a smorgasborg of spending as if there is no tomorrow. They can’t keep blaming the past lot.

    • @Peter
      February 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm
      ‘I think this ridiculously childish bun fight is symptomatic when a council is breaking down, where the members, both administrative and political, spend more time undermining and attacking each other as things continue to go wrong.’

      They have reduced the council to a farce. I think that Lorenzo da Ponte could have written a fine libretto using Dunedin instead of Seville. Sadly, we would struggle to find a Mozart to provide the music.
      But ‘a day of madness’ it certainly is here in Dunners.

      Le Nozze di Figaro : The Marriage of Figaro or “A day of Madness”
      Opera buffa: Comic opera in four acts
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
      Libretto: Lorenzo da Ponte (1749 – 1838)

      He could have found a cast as follows:
      DRAMATIS PERSONÆ:

      COUNT ALMAVIVA baritone – David Cull
      COUNTESS ALMAVIVA – soprano – Kate Wilson
      SUSANNA – soprano, the COUNTESS’ chambermaid. Jinty MacTavish
      FIGARO – bass, the COUNT’s manservant. Lee Vandervis
      CHERUBINO – mezzo-soprano, in love with everyone. Richard Thomson
      MARCELLINA – mezzo-soprano, in love with FIGARO. Hilary Calvert
      DON BARTOLO – bass, previously Rosina’s guardian. David Benson-Pope
      DON BASILIO – tenor, previously music teacher. Chris Staynes, now the COUNT’s middleman for his various romantic affairs.
      DON CURZIO – tenor, a judge. Prof Stuart Anderson
      BARBARINA – soprano, ANTONIO’s daughter in love with CHERUBINO. Aaron Hawkins
      ANTONIO – bass, gardener in the COUNT’s gardens, Barbarina’s father, Susanna’s uncle. Neville Peat
      Chorus of Peasants. The remaining councillors.

      Plot: Three years previously, in the events of The Barber of Seville, Figaro (Lee V) helped the younger Count Almaviva (Dave C) win Rosina (Kate W) away from her cunning old guardian Bartolo, (David BP) and was hired as the Count’s manservant in gratitude. Now tired of his wife, the Count has for some time been looking elsewhere for female company, and his gratitude to Figaro has soured: not least because his eyes have lighted on Figaro’s fiancee, the Countess’ chambermaid, Susanna. Being a young man of the (age of Climate Change), the Count has recently revoked the use of his traditional Mayoral Limo, and is rather regretting it. Bartolo, meanwhile, nurses a grudge against Figaro for his trickery in depriving Bartolo of his ward (and the dowry he hoped to keep by marrying her himself), while his former housekeeper, Marcellina (Hilary C), has her own designs on Figaro….
      ….we will have to wait until Don Curzio (Prof Stuart Anderson) gets up to speed to untangle this unseemly web of intrigue. What will Kate Wilson do next to divert David Cull from his desires for the fragrant Jinty. How will Chris Staynes teach Kate to sing a different tune and how will he persuade Aaron to change his infatuation.

      Lorenzo da Ponte should have chosen Dunedin 2015 for his setting.

  13. Peter

    If you really want to bully someone and drive them out of your life you choose as your victim someone who is physically puny, someone who is nervy, someone who will quickly buckle under pressure, someone who is not that bright, someone who is somehow compromised, someone who has no mongrel within, someone with no power.
    Whoops.

  14. Peter

    This move against Lee Vandervis is part of the ongoing bullying of previous councillors who also didn’t toe the line and kept asking awkward questions which irritated the hell out of fellow councillors.
    I think of people like Leah McBey, Jeremy Belcher, Teresa Stevenson. There may be others?

  15. Audrey

    Wonder what Benson-Pope will wear to the code of conduct (disciplinary) committee.

  16. Elizabeth

    Site Admin.

    Diane, your comment has gone to moderation. Are you referring to this article at ODT Online? – http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/334301/threat-boycott-hearing-conduct

    Feel free to re-submit after checking. We see legal issues with what you tried to post here. It’s possible ODT Online also saw some; suggest you write to the newspaper editor for fair and reasonable clarification.

    Writers of Comments to What if? Dunedin should try to avoid incurring legal liability for the site owner and admins. We invite robust debate but appreciate exercise of caution. People can try their luck at other websites – or simply contact the site owner by email before making comment if unsure of potential issues.

    This website is filtered in preference to fully automatic moderation, we’d like to keep it that way. -Eds

    • Diane Yeldon

      If you are the slightest concerned about defamation then I totally agree – don’t post it. You protect me as much as yourselves. It is absolutely not worth taking any risks! Thanks.

      {Thanks for your understanding, Diane. There are always other ways to say the same thing – creative license can get around thorns. -Eds}

  17. Calvin Oaten

    Just heard from a confidential source that Dave Cull refuses to disclose in written form the charges against Cr Lee Vandervis in the Code of Conduct hearings due soon. His response to requests from the defense is that all will be oral in front of the panel. Now is the “Kangaroo Court” tactics or what? How is a defendant to prepare case of defense if he doesn’t even know what precisely is the charge? This seems to be if not highly illegal, then contrary to the concept of natural justice, and being innocent till proven guilty.
    Dave Cull is so obsessional about getting rid of Cr Vandervis that he is exceeding the bounds of the law, decency, and simple human kind. The only thing is that he is laying open the legitimate option for Cr Vandervis to call his bluff and simply refuse to appear. At the end of the day, this will show the calibre of the elected councillors if they allow this “inner cabal” of the Greater Dunedin “push” plus the seriously discredited tarnished member co-opted onto the panel. Dunedin is sinking in a mire of incompetence and it shows on a daily basis.

    • Elizabeth

      Then no change of position – this is as reported earlier via Cr Vandervis’s emails in the post at top of thread. There are legal remedies. Agree with your sinking summation, Calvin.

    • cinimodjunior

      If these are truly the conditions upon which Cull wants to run the process, then Lee must NOT attend. What Cull is demanding by disallowing the accused to know the case against him MUST be unlawful – even more unlawful than stealing water from the City by unlawful connection. By attending under these conditions Lee actually gives credence to the principles of a Kangaroo Court. Call his bluff Lee. Don’t flirt with this septic behaviour. It will be Cull who will be publicly ridiculed; provided that you don’t attend – we’ll make sure it reaches the Sunday tabloids.

    • Judge Judy

      Code Of Conduct
      J.4.1 Compliance
      (b) Any allegation of a breach of a code of conduct MUST be in writing, make specific allegation of a breach of the code of conduct, and provide corroborating evidence.

      Before beginning any investigation, the committee will notify the elected member (s) in WRITING of the complaint and explain when and how they will get the opportunity to put their version of events.

  18. Peter

    I would have thought the law professor from the uni who is on this complaints committee would or should have something to say about the legality of the process which Dave Cull is undertaking. If it is illegal, as seems apparent, his own credibility in the eyes of his peers, and the citizens as a whole, would be in doubt. I would not want this to be on my head.

    • Peter
      March 13, 2015 at 5:33 pm

      You say: –
      “I would have thought the law professor from the uni who is on this complaints committee would or should have something to say about the legality of the process which Dave Cull is undertaking.”

      I agree that the law professor would know.
      But is seems most unusual that Lee has been denied information on the natures of the complaint and given full information to prepare his defence.

      Have looked at a few examples of ‘Breaches of Codes of Professional Conduct’ and show an example here that refers to the rules of natural justice. It clearly sets out the rights of the respondent to know the details of the complaint. I cannot see that the City Council could circumvent such a provision.

      – Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand Inc, Code of Professional Conduct.
      IITP Bylaws Schedule Four:
      Breach of the Code of Professional Conduct

      The rules of natural justice will be paramount in all processes. The rules of natural justice include the right for a respondent to know the details of a complaint and the supporting evidence; the right to provide evidence in defence; and the right for an unbiased determination made by those who hear all the evidence.”

      – Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand Inc, Code of Professional Conduct.

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