Panel votes to sack Wilson over 'confidence breach'

Hamilton City Council's new Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) committee has voted to sack Ewan Wilson after allegations by chairman Garry Mallett that he had breached confidence.

The recommendation, passed 4-1 on the votes of Mr Mallett, Mayor Julie Hardaker, and new councillors Rob Pascoe and Andrew King, must be ratified by the full council in the new year for Mr Wilson to lose his seat in the CCO panel.

Mr Mallett tabled a motion to have Cr Ewan Wilson's membership revoked, based entirely on his allegation that Mr Wilson breached confidence by sharing emails with the Waikato Times.

The contents of the emails were a discussion of issues around the committee and the airport company it is responsible for, that the Waikato Times has raised with both Mr Wilson and Mr Mallett.

Mr Mallett referred the Times to the email as his response to its questions.

Mr Wilson said nothing in the email referred to by Mr Mallett was confidential, and he was relaxed about the decision being left to the full council to consider.

"At the end of the day we are all here to make decisions in the best interests of the city and ultimately it is my colleagues who will decide," he said.

Mr Mallett said breaches of confidence were an avoidable risk and his action was motivated by reducing that risk.

But not all councillors are convinced of his motivation, one referring to the partisan sniping that had hamstrung Hamilton councils in recent terms.

Senior councillor Dave Macpherson said elected members should not have learned about the issue through a press release from the council's communications unit.

"This method of handling issues seems to be harking back to the ‘bad old days' of Rimmington and Braithwaite - this council has hardly got its feet under the table before people are being ousted, sacked, ostracised, whatever," he told councillors. "I doubt this is what the voting public expected."

Waikato Times