Alistair Sowman

Boss Hogg and his vigilante arsehole mates need to pick on someone else


Outgoing Mayor and real Boss Hogg type character Alistair Sowman has unleashed a bunch of vigilante arseholes onto Marlborough.

They are searching for my source, the whistle-blower who busted Sowman’s Rosco P. Coltrane, John Leggett saying one thing in public and another behind closed doors.

Now their little witch hunt has escalated to violence.

A?councillor is outraged?about the?”defamatory” vandalism of her signs,?the latest in a spat about a?leaked recording which appeared on a right-wing blog.

Campaign signs belonging to Laressa Shenfield were vandalised between Thursday night and Friday morning.

Wallpaper was glued over the original?slogan, “Making a Difference”,?and was changed to “Making a recording”.

The vandalism?was?”malicious”, Shenfield said. ?? Read more »

Email of the day

With all the shenanigans going on in Marlborough, it has highlighted the Boss Hogg mentality operating in many small centres.

A reader emails:

Hi guys,

The more I’ve read about the going’s on with Mayor Sowman and the Marlborough District Council, the more it’s reminded me of the way Boss Hogg ran Hazzard County in the Dukes of Hazzard!In light of this, I decided to create an image of Mayor

In light of this, I decided to create an image of Mayor Sowman that more accurately reflected his perceived position.

A copy of the image is attached. You can use it on Whale Oil if you wish.

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Dodgy theatre, dodgy council, dodgy media…why did no one act?


After we busted John Leggett and the Marlborough Express tried to ignore the story there still remain a number of unanswered questions that I am sure the ratepayers of Marlborough wants answers to.

For a start, let’s examine this “world class”?theatre malarky.

The council and the backers of the theatre must seriously think that the wine industry will continue to be strong there and “hopefully”, one day, all the “movie stars” of the world will just fly on in and while there doing their up-market shopping at The Warehouse and Farmers and the $2 shops they get so worn out that they want to catch a Broadway show direct from New friggin’ York.

There was never a valid business case for this white elephant. Now the council is committing more ratepayers cash after burning $5 million with the loan guarantee.

It took a brave staffer and some braver staff at the Mex to finally get some traction on this by leaking the audio of Leggett’s hypocrisy.

Then there is this comment in the article:

Public-excluded meetings were usually held for genuine reasons of commercial sensitivity.

“I have a view that using this sort of thing for political expediency is just despicable, and it is harmful to credibility – particularly for the person that actually recorded and released it,” he said.

Sowman?said it raised the question of how many other recordings were made. ?

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A “World Class” Library for Marlborough?


Apparently the staff of the Marlborough District council have more integrity than the councillors, because the tip line has been running hot with stories about the council running publicly excluded meetings to push through the funding for the $24m Library in Blenheim.? Read more »

Why does Marlborough’s theatre cost so much?


The Marlborough Express may be covering up the threatening late-night emails from the Mayor to Corey Hebberd, but they are not covering up the massively expensive theatre running costs.

Invercargill’s theatre is nearly one-and-a-half times the size?of Blenheim’s new theatre, but its yearly operating costs are about a third of the theatre’s estimated annual expenditure.

A report prepared by the Marlborough District Council last month?said the?expenditure for the ASB Theatre this financial year was forecast to be almost $1.4 million.? Read more »

Comment on “Marlborough Express still ignores threats of legal action”

One of the pro-theatre commenters has made some assumptions about Corey Hebberd that are untrue.


unpublished by moderators due to ad-hominem attack

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Marborough theatre costs three times more to run than one in Invercargill

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While the Marlborough Express is continuing to ignore mayor Sowman’s late-night emails with loaded legal threats, it does manage to uncover other inconvenient information:

Invercargill’s theatre is nearly one-and-a-half times the size?of Blenheim’s new theatre, but its yearly operating costs are about a third of the theatre’s estimated annual expenditure.?

A report prepared by the Marlborough District Council last month?said the?expenditure for the ASB Theatre this financial year was forecast to be almost $1.4 million.

Figures released from Invercargill Events and Venue Management, an organisation run by the Invercargill City Council, revealed the?Invercargill Civic Theatre’s operating costs came to $494,297 last financial year.? Read more »

Marlborough Express still ignores threats of legal action

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As mentioned in a previous post, the Marlborough Express has absolutely failed to cover the threatening late-night emails from the mayor to Corey Hebberd, spokesman of the residents’ and ratepayers’ association for his legitimate questioning about the massive financial failings of the ?world-class? theatre.

Tensions were raised?after an?email sent by Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman?to a community group?spokesman surfaced?the day before last week’s?critical council meeting on the?theatre’s finances. Read more »

Really? Get some brains

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This came in on the tipline last night:

“How can you be supporting the lefty corey hebberd, He’s the?chairman of Marlborough Labour!”

I don’t see how I am supporting Corey Hebberd (whether he is Labour or not) by publishing a late night email from a bullying Mayor.

I’ve never met Corey Hebberd, but by all accounts he is a pretty capable fellow even if he is in the Labour party.

Personally, I couldn’t care less what party he is in. My target is the bullying late?night emailing mayor who is bullying people into silence with his legal threats. ? Read more »

Marlbourgh District Council loons seeking a ban on sugar, forget they banned fluoride too

The Marlborough District Council are a bunch of loons.

They are now seeking to ban sugary drinks from council facilities in a bid to save kids teeth.

Marlborough District Council could become the second council in New Zealand to ban sugary drinks from being sold at their venues and events.

The council is to develop a policy around the ban after the region’s principal dental officer warned sugar-sweetened beverages were rotting children’s teeth and ramping up levels of obesity and Type II Diabetes.

The council has come under pressure from the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and Nelson City Council (NCC) to implement a ban on sugary drinks at its events venues. NCC adopted the ban in July and it has been well received by ratepayers there.

If a similar policy gets the green light in Blenheim it would cover sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and flavoured milk.

They would be banned from sale in council buildings, at its venues including Stadium 2000 in Blenheim, the ferry terminal and airport and at council-run events.

Diet soft drinks would still be sold and people who wanted a sugary drink could bring it to a council building or event.

Nelson Marlborough principal dental officer Dr Rob Beaglehole, who fought for the board to introduce a similar policy in top of the south hospitals, said the council had a responsibility to act as a role model.

“This isn’t a draconian policy for a blanket ban on sugar. We are not about to stop telling people they can’t have sugar in their tea or coffee. It is about making the healthy choice the easiest choice.”

He was sick of extracting rotten teeth from children who had been drinking soft drinks. Last month he pulled 11 teeth from a 2-year-old boy.

Most of his front teeth were rotten and after the extraction he needed 15 stitches.

“He wasn’t in great shape. He hadn’t been sleeping properly for weeks and he hadn’t eaten properly for two weeks.

“His mum was beside herself and sat up with him most nights. He was crying in pain.”

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