Hutt City's mayor has ordered an urgent review of a process that has seen thousands of dollars spent on resolving arguments between councillors.

In December the Hutt City Council adapted a new code of conduct that requires disputes between politicians to be dealt with by the CEO, Tony Stallinger.

But he felt he had no legal standing to adjudicate and called in lawyers instead, resulting in hefty legal fees of over $20,000.

Mayor Ray Wallace said the costs are unacceptable, and plans to take over himself.


"I will be proposing to councillors that we revert back that it is the Mayor that will deal with any disputes between councillors."

Councillor Simon Edwards said someone from the community could take on the role as mediator.

"You might even be able to find a retired lawyer who has an interest in the Hutt or in council affairs and who might be willing to take on the role, but not at fully commercial charge out rates."

Other councillors have expressed concern over the process, including Margaret Cousins who believes her peers should learn to behave themselves.

"If consistent relationships had been developed with fellow councillors then we probably wouldn't have this sort of thing happening."

Fellow councillor Josh Briggs said only serious complaints should be investigated.

"When it's a minor or potentially frivolous matter, then there needs to be a process that looks at that and deals with that sooner, and actually costing the ratepayer less money."

Councillor Simon Edwards agreed that ratepayers shouldn't be footing a $20,000 legal bill.


"It's a fairly spectacular and highly regrettable waste of money."