Wellington mayor Andy Foster has appointed an independent reviewer despite calls to let elected members have their say on who it should be.
On Wednesday Foster announced an independent review of council's governance, saying the public's belief in elected members has been shaken and eroded.
Foster has chosen Peter Winder to lead the review. He also chaired the team that examined Tauranga City Council's elected member relationship issues and was the Crown manager for Kaipara District Council. He is also a former chief executive of Local Government New Zealand.
Foster said Winder has a significant track record in governance.
"I have every confidence Mr Winder's findings will be impartial and set in place a pathway for improved governance and better outcomes for Wellington City."
Wellington City councillor Jill Day yesterday emailed Foster and all councillors raising concerns he did not intend to involve all elected members in decisions about who would do the review and its terms of reference.
"I think that it is unlikely that this approach will lead to the kind of improvement that the city needs to see in our governance," she said.
She suggested asking Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) to undertake or commission the review.
LGNZ president Stuart Crosby told the Herald he encouraged all councils to do governance reviews, so their arrangements continued to deliver for ratepayers.
"LGNZ stands ready to assist councils with these reviews, to ensure that their governance arrangements and practices provide direction and value for communities."
Day argued committee delegations made clear all councillors were responsible for reviewing governance.
But as of 5pm yesterday, Foster was yet to respond to her concerns, she said.
In a follow-up email she requested a response from council officers, in light of Foster's move to appoint a reviewer.
"It is important that this matter is resolved before any ratepayer money is spent," she said.
Foster said the review will examine information about council decision-making, examine material providing insights into the nature of issues council is facing, and observe the governance practice of elected members.
It will also examine media and social media coverage.
Face-to-face meetings will be undertaken with all elected members and key people, as well as observing the principles of natural justice with respect to any report it produces.
It will identify any governance problems faced by the council and the factors or behaviours that contribute to them.
The report will provide a recommended action plan so the council can take proactive steps to ensure it meets expectations to be a high-performing council as soon as practicable.
Winder's report will be made public and any relevant recommendations related to governance policy and practices will be reported through the Strategy and Policy Committee.