23 Nov 2017

Council culture: 'It's quite concerning'

10:35 am on 23 November 2017

Hamilton city councillor Angela O'Leary says a culture change is needed within the council to put an end to lewd behaviour.

Hamilton City Councillor Angela O'Leary.

Hamilton City Councillor Angela O'Leary. Photo: Supplied

Councillor Mark Bunting faces a formal hearing on Friday after he sent a sexually explicit joke via Facebook to journalist Angela Cuming.

Councillor Angela O'Leary complained about sexist, misogynistic comments and foul language being used by councillors at the start of the year and repeated her concerns in August.

She told Morning Report it was a very real issue and it was sad people outside the council have now been affected.

"It's quite concerning.

"Particularly as a woman sitting in a formal setting with elected members listening to misogynist jokes, snide remarks, and sniggers.

"And the just, you know, 'ha ha, she'll be right'."

She said an example of this type of behaviour was in a recent council meeting when a male councillor asked a female colleague, when she said she had protested against a large community facility, if she had done so naked.

"It is very unfortunate that that is the type of example of behaviour that is continuing to go on."

As a councillor for ten years, she said she had only noticed the sexism in the current council term.

And she said mayor Andrew King needed to do more to put a stop to the behaviour.

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