New code of conduct passed

The code is for employees, councillors and committee members and was required to be prepared by the Local Government Act 1995.

At the council briefing, governance and strategy director Jamie Parry said the ‘matter of most significance is how complaints are reported’.

He said the chief executive would deal with complaints and would consider any implications based on its significance.

‘A number of issues that are raised are very much of an administrative matter, particularly with external committee members who may not understand their role,’ he said.

Chief executive Garry Hunt said previously, every ‘small matter’ that was raised required a formal process to go through, ‘which is not the best use of mine or anyone else’s time’.

‘It consumes a huge amount of time and effort for what is essentially a personality spat between two individuals,’ he said.

‘No amount of investigation or assessment or even mediation will satisfy some issues, so it gives some opportunity for the CEO to draw a line in the sand and so ‘no I’m not going to waste time on this’.’

Mayor Troy Pickard said the new code should provide an indication of possible consequences if it was breached.

‘Ultimately, the deterrent for a breach is the penalty,’ he said.

‘It’s a warm and fuzzy statement of behavioural beliefs.’