A Westland District Council staff member is at the centre of a Serious Fraud Office investigation.

The office confirmed yesterday an investigation was under way concerning one employee but would not comment further.

It follows the raid of a Kaniere Rd property on Friday, allegedly in connection with the matter.

Councillors learned of the SFO involvement yesterday but are also keeping mum.


"Matters have been brought to council's attention that are a cause for concern. These have been referred to the Serious Fraud Office to investigate," Westland Mayor Bruce Smith said.

"I have nothing further to say." He could not say whether or not the staff member in question had been stood down.

It is unclear who first raised the flag or when.

It is understood SFO officers visited the council headquarters on Monday, but in a short statement it said no staff members were in Hokitika as of yesterday.

On Friday, men in suits were observed moving about the Kaniere address and two police cars were there for most of the day.

Sergeant Russell Glue, of Hokitika police, said he could not comment.

- Hokitika Guardian