Mayor Innes and Councillors Mayne, Brown, Pollock, Thomson, Nathan, Constable and Tait,
It is beyond comprehension that you knowingly and deliberately defied the Local Government Act today when you voted to close the meeting.
LGA Section 10D(1) states: “The grounds on which part of a meeting is closed must be stated in the decision to close that part of the meeting and must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.”
LGA Section 10D(2) states: “The grounds must specify the following:
b) the matter that is to be discussed during the closed part of the meeting.”
Please note: “is to be discussed” is future tense, something you are going to discuss in closed session.
This is contrary to the GM’s advice when she referred to only recording the grounds(and matter) in the minutes, which would be past tense..
The public, who were present at the meeting, were supposed to be informed of these grounds, including the matter to be discussed, before you moved into closed session. Otherwise, how can the public make representations to the meeting as to whether the meeting should be closed, if they don’t know the matter to be discussed? (Code of Meeting Practice 12.7)
Councillor Constable at least had the gumption to question the closure motion, but in the end you all heeded the GM’s advice which was, once again, wrong. As it was when she assured councillors that the ‘tendering’ process was vindicated in the review of the Huntfest approval process – which it wasn’t.
You ignored representations made by the public supplying you with the lawful facts, violated your Oath of office in not complying with LGA, failed to think for yourselves and failed the ratepayers that elected you.
And the icing on the cake:
This closed meeting, with secrecy orchestrated by the GM herself, was to vote on a 5 year extension of her contract, which you actually approved!
Deua River Valley