4/12/2018 3:00:00 p.m.
4 December 2018
STATEMENT FROM ROTORUA LAKES COUNCIL CE GEOFF WILLIAMS
Regarding the response received today from Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) to a request for the OAG to conduct an inquiry and forensic audit of Mudtopia:
We appreciate the amount of work the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) has done to look into Council’s handling of Mudtopia, leading it to conclude that there is no need for a formal inquiry and/or forensic audit.
It has been a thorough process and the organisation has responded to all requests for information regarding this matter.
As CE I have remained confident in the staff’s management of both the event itself and related procurement and transactions.
In receiving the decision that the OAG will not be conducting a formal inquiry or forensic audit, we acknowledge the OAG’s views regarding having clear, recorded Council decisions for the increased financial risk and endorsement of the event advisory panel. We will take this on board for future reference.
However, we feel it is important to note there was full disclosure of information to the Operations and Monitoring Committee in August 2017 when it reconfirmed its support for the event. Also important to note is the fact that the committee is a “committee of the whole’, made up of the Mayor and all councillors as well as Te Tatau o Te Arawa and rural and lakes community board members.
The event has been well scrutinised from every aspect and we now look forward to continuing our focus on the ongoing work and community outcomes the organisation has been tasked to deliver.
See the response from the Office of the Auditor-General HERE
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR STEVE CHADWICK
The Office of the Auditor-General has concluded no inquiry is warranted into Council’s handling of Mudtopia.
Once again Council time and resources have needlessly been taken up dealing with a challenge from a disgruntled Mr Macpherson and once again authorities have concluded there is nothing to inquire into.
It’s extremely disappointing to again be drawn into having to respond to matters proven to be false.
The cost of this ongoing campaign against the council organisation and elected members with claims and accusations based on rumour, speculation and conspiracy theories, has become a growing and unnecessary cost.
This is the second time the Office of the Auditor-General has concluded there is no need for an inquiry into allegations made.
There was also an unsuccessful attempt in court to challenge the 2016 election results and the campaign of this failed mayoral and council candidate has cost Council more than $230,000 in staff time and resources and legal costs. He may consider it to be the “price of democracy” as he has previously stated but wasting public resources on baseless accusations is nothing more than a waste of council time and resources.
This latest unsuccessful attempt to discredit myself and other elected members, the council organisation, the chief executive and other staff follows a string of unsubstantiated and unfounded accusations and has again achieved nothing constructive.
I have had no reason to doubt matters relating to Mudtopia were dealt with appropriately. The Office of the Auditor-General has undertaken a rigorous process and given it has determined there is no need for an inquiry or financial audit, I sincerely hope this is the end of it.
Let us get on with the business of ensuring the continued progress of our district and its residents – that’s something we will all benefit from.