Marborough Council: Killing the messenger and starting a witch hunt

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Marlborough’s Mayor has called in lawyers over a leaked recording of a confidential council meeting earlier this year, which has been made public via a right-wing blog.

Alistair Sowman said he was sickened by the action and councillors were horrified a colleague potentially leaked it.

The closed meeting was about finances surrounding the troubled ASB Theatre in Blenheim, and the audio and transcript has appeared on the Whale Oil blog.

The $23 million theatre opened in March this year, despite last-minute financial problems that saw the council step in to help.

Blogger Cameron Slater claimed it was council staff who leaked mayoral hopeful John Leggett’s views on the theatre funding.

Mr Sowman said it was more likely to be a councillor and if that was proven then he or she could be asked to resign.

“We need to go to all councillors who were at that meeting on the day and get them to sign an affidavit to say it wasn’t them that did the recordings. And then we need to work from there and whether we’re looking at recording devices that councillors may have had, I don’t know, that’s something we need to determine.”

Mr Sowman, who is stepping down this year, said it was gutter politics of the type he had not seen in a career spanning several terms on council.

Nelson mayoral candidate Pete Rainey has also recently appeared in an unflattering piece on the Whale Oil blog.

Unflattering it may be, but that’s what happens when you shine some sunlight into small towns in New Zealand. ?Locals don’t dare speak out because their lives will be made hell. ?Local news doesn’t dare speak up because their commercial viability is under threat if they speak up against their biggest advertisers.

So they act like they are violated, scream “Whaleoil” and hope that voters?will forget what it is really all about.

What an utter waste of rate payers’ money to try and figure out who helped the truth get to the public.

Stop screaming my name, and start taking responsibility for your own words and actions.