11 Sep 2019

Wellington lawyer to review Napier City Council social media monitoring

5:30 pm on 11 September 2019

A Wellington-based lawyer has been appointed to conduct a review of Napier City Councillors' concerns about staff monitoring of their Facebook pages.

Peter Chemis, a senior partner of Buddle Findlay.

Peter Chemis Photo: Supplied

The independent review was ordered after RNZ revealed the council's chief executive, Wayne Jack, asked staff to trawl through the posts of four councillors who opposed a new pool development, looking for possible code of conduct breaches.

Peter Chemis, a senior partner of Buddle Findlay, had experience in dispute resolution and employment law and had undertaken a wide variety of senior advisory roles in the public and private sectors.

"The review will take a measured and impartial approach. Mr Chemis is totally independent, comes in fresh and has no links with Napier City Council," Napier acting Mayor Faye White said.

She met with Mr Jack on Wednesday, now that he had returned from overseas, to outline her intention to initiate a review of the council's processes regarding viewing councillors' Facebook pages, she said.

"The review will either confirm that council's current processes and practices are appropriate, or else it will make recommendations for change. Either way, I am optimistic that the outcome will restore people's confidence in council's internal processes.

"We're coming to the end of the triennium. We need to go out respectfully and for the best of everyone at this point. The new council gives everyone the opportunity to bring about changes and set the vision for the new term together."

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