Kavida Herath / Stuff
An allegation by Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt that councilors are bullying him is “absolute nonsense”, the deputy mayor said.
Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt says he “takes advice” on bullying.
Shadbolt’s performance as chairman of an extraordinary council meeting at. 16.00 on Tuesday has been criticized, but he said he was “distracted by bullying and threats I faced before entering the meeting”.
“I thought my performance was reasonable given the intimidation that peaked [with a concerted attack over minute issues] at the chairman’s meeting, five councilors attended earlier in the afternoon and just before the meeting, ”he said.
However, Jeff Grant, the chairman of the chairman’s meeting held earlier Tuesday, who has 30 years of management experience and is an independent adviser to the council, said no bullying took place.
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“On Tuesday, I do not feel bullying at all. Yes, a robust discussion on one issue, but nothing out of the ordinary. ”
Shadbolt said Grant should know better than to make such a statement.
“He has no insight into how I feel and did not examine my well-being.”
Shadbolt said he was more than capable of performing his role under “normal and healthy working conditions.”
Deputy Mayor Nobby Clark said Shadbolt’s allegation of being bullied was “absolute nonsense”.
“He has not been bullied at all. I attend most meetings where he feels he is being bullied … all he is asked to do is some responsibility around the statements he makes in the media that are not positive for us. ”
Councilman Ian Pottinger, who attended the chairman’s meeting, also denied that Shadbolt was bullied, including at Tuesday’s meeting.
“Absolutely no bullying, certainly not. Asking someone to withdraw something that was fake is bullying? ”
Councilor Rebecca Amundsen, who attended most chair meetings, said there was a “big difference between being bullied and being held accountable for your actions”.
Shadbolt said Clark’s actions reflected “the culture and subversion I face on a daily basis from the Council regime”.
“My contention is reinforced by the fact that when I detailed my feelings of the ongoing trauma I am facing in my work situation, I have not had a single call asking about my welfare from any councilors or council director.”
Bullying in the workplace was a serious problem and the effect on a person’s psyche should not be underestimated, he said.
“I feel that there is a strategic effort behind closed doors to break me, which I will not give in to. I am currently taking advice on bullying and how I can best remedy the damage to the city’s reputation of Nobby’s regular and unnecessary media outbursts. ”
Clark doubled his previous statement that no one had bullied Shadbolt at Tuesday’s meetings.
“It’s just Tim playing the victim. He is not the victim. ”
“What we asked for [at the chairs meeting] was an explanation for why he earlier in the day … made a claim that the staff humiliated him by straining his stuff and throwing it out. ”
Clark said Shadbolt’s claim was inaccurate and that he was given the opportunity to retract it several times, but he said no.
Clark said he then told Shadbolt that if he made future statements about staff that were inaccurate, he could possibly face a no-confidence motion.
New Zealand President Stuart Crosby said he was aware that Shadbolt had accused his council colleagues of bullying and stated that he would speak to LGNZ’s CEO.
“It will be based on what [overall] support we can give Invercargill City Council. ”
The issues in the city council were worrying, he said.
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