An Invercargill MP is showing support for embattled mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt, saying it's up to voters to decide his future.
National's Penny Simmonds, who is a longtime friend of the mayor, has previously remained tight-lipped about his suitability to the role as tensions mount in the south.
Amid a rocky ninth term for the mayor of 28 years, Sir Tim's leadership capabilities and mental capacity have both been called into question.
But Simmonds is now showing solidarity for Sir Tim, saying she would not support an intervention — a move that has been angled at by some of his constituents.
"I have been a friend and supporter of his worship Sir Tim for many years and it is ultimately up to him and the voters to decide his future.
"I don't support any intervention other than next year's local government election."
Talk of a vote of no confidence against the mayor gained traction at the council last month when deputy mayor Nobby Clark said things were heading in that direction.
Such a move would be largely symbolic as Sir Tim would still be able to continue as mayor.
Despite ongoing criticism, Sir Tim has indicated multiple times he plans to see out his term and stand again at the October 2022 election.
"If I can survive this, I can probably do another three or four terms," he said in June.
Simmonds and the mayor developed a close working relationship during her tenure as chief executive of the Southern Institute of Technology.
During that time, Sir Tim was a paid ambassador for the education provider.
In June, he confirmed he was still an ambassador, but said SIT had "lowered the level".
"Now Penny has gone, it's more orthodox now," he said.
Asked if they were still in contact, he said they were not, especially compared to how close they once were.