The Christchurch City councillor accused of sending "grossly inappropriate" messages to three young people has today outed himself and denied any wrongdoing.

Councillor Deon Swiggs revealed this afternoon that he is the focus of the investigation.

"I am the Christchurch City councillor being referred to in the media," he said.

It comes after Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel - who was approached in May by a city youth group about the messages which related to young people aged between 13 and 21 at the time - called on the councillor to come forward, in fairness to colleagues and voters.


Ten of the city's 16 councillors had already independently come forward to say they are not the subject of the complaint.

Swiggs, a 33-year-old who is standing for re-election next month, said in a statement that he felt it was "important to identify myself to stop aspersion being cast on my council colleagues".

"I deny any allegations of misconduct and welcome a full investigation into any complaints.

"I will co-operate fully with the inquiry and hope it will be resolved quickly so Christchurch ratepayers have certainty ahead of voting in the current election.

"I will make no further comment at this time."

Christchurch City Council acting chief executive Mary Richardson this afternoon said John Matthews, a retired Associate Justice of the High Court, has been appointed to "undertake the preliminary assessment of the Code of Conduct complaint regarding Councillor Swiggs".

Matthews started work at the weekend and is "treating this matter with urgency", Richardson said.

"I will provide further advice once the assessment has been completed," she said.


"I believe it is in the best interests of all those involved that I make no further comment until then."

On June 10, Dalziel with someone from the group who described an alleged pattern of behaviour.

The mayor agreed to speak to the councillor about appropriate behaviour and ensured he did not attend events where he would be in contact with young people.

Dalziel met with the group on June 24 to discuss "next steps".

"I explained that the Christchurch City Council code of conduct was an extremely poor process for addressing such matters. There was ultimately no means of resolution other than a vote of the council, and even then it could only be a recommendation," she said in a statement.

Dalziel raised the option of restorative justice at this point.

She was not able to tell the group what a code of conduct process would mean in terms of naming the young people.

Dalziel then handed the matter over to acting chief executive Richardson.

She said she was not made aware of all of the issues that were the subject of the complaint until after Richardson met with the young people last Tuesday, where Richardson was given detailed information.

After this she said her and the chief executive agreed to progress to the next stage of the code of conduct "immediately".

Dalziel said in a statement today that she had acted in good faith throughout the process.

"I could only act on the basis of the information I had been given at the time. I was not provided with the most serious of the allegations which has now been brought to my attention."

She added: "The allegations that have now been made and advised to me last Thursday go much further than I was originally told and cast a different light on the situation."