An Invercargill city councillor has begun a case in the High Court alleging she was defamed by the mayor, Tim Shadbolt.
Karen Arnold laid the proceedings in the High Court in Wellington, yesterday.
Her lawyer Peter McKnight said the defamation claim was served on the mayor this morning.
Ms Arnold and Mr Shadbolt have had a fractious relationship since she joined the council in 2013.
Ms Arnold said she believed Mr Shadbolt defamed her in a series of columns in the Southland Times between October and April.
The Southland Times, which is owned by Fairfax Media, is also being sued.
She said Mr Shadbolt had threatened to counter-sue if she laid the claim.
The mayor could not be reached for comment.