5 Sep 2018

Conduct complaint lodged against Chch councillor

From Checkpoint, 5:19 pm on 5 September 2018

A Christchurch councillor has been stood down after telling media he believes the District Plan has been tampered with.

David East said a clause that would have made it easier to build and develop in the flood-prone area was taken out some time after an Independent Hearings Panel finalised it.

He claimed that had left his constituents potentially millions of dollars out of pocket.

David East

David East Photo: RNZ/ Logan Church

Yesterday, mayor Lianne Dalziel stood down Mr East as chair of the Regulatory Performance Committee.

"I view the mayor's actions very seriously, particularly when she has chosen to discipline me before any consideration of whether or not my assertions are valid or warrant being independently investigated," said Mr East.

This afternoon, a council spokesperson said the mayor had received a formal complaint from the chief executive on behalf of the organisation, and she will be discussing it with the chief executive tomorrow.

Both the mayor and chief executive declined to be interviewed today.

In a statement earlier this week, Ms Dalziel said she was "extremely disappointed".

"He is well aware that the appropriate course of action would have been to raise his concerns formally with the council."

Mr East, an elected representative, said he tried to do this in the past.

"The people of South New Brighton, Southshore and Redcliffs have been subjected to unnecessary and considerable expense, not to mention serious psychosocial stress.

"My prime outcome is to represent the interests of my constituents and overturn this injustice and provide certainty in their lives."

Acting chief executive Brendan Anstiss said in a press release this week he was disappointed.

"Unfortunately councillor East appears not to understand the decision making process of the Independent Hearings Panel.

"It is now the council's role to give effect to the Independent Hearing Panel's decisions. I am confident we are applying these decisions correctly."

Mr East said he was considering legal action over that press release, and whether he had been defamed.

He said even though he was not interested in the mayoralty, he would not rule out running in next year's election.