Environment Southland releases report

Last updated 15:13 28/11/2012
Rob Phillips
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips speaks at the media conference today.

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An independent report into Environment Southland’s compliance division has identified several problems relating to poor processes and procedures that are "unacceptable", Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips said today.

    » Click here to read the full report

The audit was ordered by Environment Southland following Southland Times articles highlighting complaints from members of the public about the behaviour and actions of the regional council’s compliance officer Chris McMillan.

The audit, carried out by Auckland environmental lawyer Karenza de Silva, found no evidence of dishonesty or fraudulent behaviour by Environment Southland staff.

However, Mr Philips said in a press conference that the people who complained about Mr McMillan’s behaviour had not been spoken to by Ms de Silva in the course of her investigations.

Environment Southland this afternoon released findings of its audit of it compliance divisions processes.

One of the Southland Times articles concerned allegations that council compliance officer Chris McMillan altered a statement by police after a stock truck sting; and the other where senior Invercargill lawyer Rex Chapman told the Times Mr McMillan effectively acknowledged under cross-examination in court that the council's original written case against a farm owner and manager it was prosecuting contained statements that were not true.

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