12 Sep 2015

Napier mayor subject of complaint

11:21 am on 12 September 2015

Napier's mayor Bill Dalton has had a formal complaint laid against him with the Auditor-General in relation to a proposal to amalgamate Hawke's Bay's five councils.

From left, museum director Douglas Lloyd Jenkins, Napier mayor Bill Dalton and council chief executive Wayne Jack at a news conference on Wednesday.

Napier mayor Bill Dalton, centre, reportedly said sponsors would stop supporting the Magpies because its assistant coach supports amalgamation. Photo: RNZ / Peter Fowler

Hastings deputy mayor Cynthia Bowers said she lodged the complaint after Mr Dalton suggested sponsors would stop supporting the Magpies rugby team because its assistant coach supported amalgamation.

Assistant coach Danny Lee posted a pro-amalgamation video on a Facebook page.

Mr Dalton commented on the page that Mr Lee's stance would prompt some sponsors to review their position.

The video was then removed, Ms Bowers said.

"That just reinforced to me that the stand that Mr Dalton had taken had had effect to the extent that Danny Lee no longer wanted his personal views to be expressed publicly."

Mr Dalton's comment amounted to a threat, and has stifled Mr Lee, she said.

Mr Dalton would not comment for now.

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