Miccio's 'fishy' emails released by council
Six emails casting a cloud over Nelson Mayor and mayoral candidate Aldo Miccio have been released, and they mostly contain information about salmon.
Nelson City Council chief executive Clare Hadley released the emails yesterday on advice from the Ombudsman.
She said she valued transparency in local government.
"I'm uncomfortable with the current tone and speculation about the content of these emails and I have a responsibility to safeguard the reputation of the office of the mayor," she said.
"I hope this full disclosure puts an end to any further speculation."
Most of the six emails are from November 2012 and were sent between Mr Miccio and New Zealand King Salmon regarding NZ Inc Shop's selling of salmon online, including salmon fact sheets and product sizes.
A New Zealand King Salmon employee initially sent them to Mr Miccio's mayoral email address because his NZ Inc Shop email address was bouncing, and correspondence continued from there.
Other emails include a November reply from Mr Miccio to the Nelson Mail regarding his involvement with NZ Inc Shop, forwarded to his business partner York Zhang.
Another email to Mr Zhang on October 30, included an NZ Inc Shop trading agreement outlining its terms of service.
Commenting on the email release, Mr Miccio said: "Over recent weeks it has become apparent that the continual request for these emails stems from ongoing politically motivated mischief-making.
"The release of these emails will now bring an end to unwarranted and unsubstantiated speculation."
Mr Miccio said "things like this happen" in politics, but it was in the city's best interests to have the emails released.
"For me it was getting a bit silly because people were speculating about all sorts of things.
"In the absence of information people fill the void, so possibly [it] could have been better to get them out there earlier.
"Naively or not, because we knew there was nothing in them, we didn't see there was a big fuss."
He said he wouldn't change anything he did.
"[I am] just being true to myself and carrying out the functions of the role of the office and [my] private business, and if people have issues with that then that's their issues, not mine."
Mr Miccio last year travelled to China twice to help encourage business links between Nelson and China and returned promoting e-commerce opportunities for Nelson and New Zealand.
However, unknown to the Nelson City Council, he had agreed to a chairmanship, co-director role and shareholding in e-commerce venture NZ Inc Shop, through his company, Bissi.
The shop is now running and offering Nelson products online, with the business taking a commission, the amount of which Mr Miccio said was confidential.
In December last year, the Nelson Mail requested details of correspondence between Mr Miccio and Mr Zhang under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. In June, Mrs Hadley released some of the information, but not all of it.
Mr Miccio had deleted six emails.
Mrs Hadley refused to release them on the grounds they would take too long to recover.
The Nelson Mail requested the Ombudsman intervene.
An Auckland company recovered the emails, which Mrs Hadley said took about eight hours and cost "around $2000".
- © Fairfax NZ News