Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Hide to weigh in on damning V8 report

Former Hamilton mayors have called for councillors and key staff involved with the V8 event to step down. Photo / Alan Gibson
Former Hamilton mayors have called for councillors and key staff involved with the V8 event to step down. Photo / Alan Gibson

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide will make comments on Hamilton City Council's damning review of the V8 audit early next week following a full briefing on the entire report later this week.

A spokeswoman for Mr Hide said the minister was waiting to be briefed by officials on the findings from the 56-page report before making further comments.

"It is quite a complex issue because we have a new council in there as well as the mayor," the spokeswoman said.

Former Hamilton mayors David Braithwaite and Margaret Evans have already called for the 10 councillors involved in the decision-making process and key staff to resign. Former Hamilton mayor and council chief executive Michael Redman - who was central to the V8 event - resigned from his job on Friday and has urged key staff and councillors to follow suit.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said she had spoken with Mr Hide on Saturday and had been given no indication that he would intervene.

"I've given Rodney Hide a brief of the report and he will be receiving a full brief from his department this week. He's very pleased with the changes our council has been making throughout this year and sees those changes as positive.

"He's very pleased with the changes our council has made in terms of governance this year, changes to the committee structure, the reporting, the risk management matrix, the project reporting - all of those changes are good changes and speak to many of the recommendations already in the report."

However, she acknowledged it was "an issue" if the information was not included in the report as was revealed over the V8s, but felt the new committee structure and format would help councillors pick up on any concerns.

Mr Hide has the power to sack the council and appoint a commissioner, which was last done with Environment Canterbury last year and Rodney District Council in 2000.

Hamilton MPs David Bennett and Sue Moroney had not been contacted by Mr Hide about stepping in. Mr Bennett expected to be given the heads up if the minister planned to sack the whole council and appoint a commissioner.

- NZ Herald

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