Wellington Mayor Andy Foster. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says he’s “deeply saddened” for Wellingtonians that his council is not standing with them over the Shelly Bay fiasco.
Meanwhile, councillor Jenny Condie has issued a public statement saying a complaint she made about Foster’s behaviour before the contentious vote on Wednesday night is a “serious matter”.
Councillors voted to sell and lease land the council owns at Shelly Bay to make way for a $500 million development, featuring 350 homes.
Foster opposed the move, but well and truly lost the vote, which had six councillors against and nine in favour.
The mayor responded to the aftermath by going to ground yesterday.
One News reported he wouldn’t front, leaving councillor Nicola Young to speak on the issue in the 6pm television bulletin.
Stuff reported Foster also didn’t want to talk about the loss and declined to answer repeated phone calls.
Instead, his office issued a statement on Foster’s behalf thanking people for sharing their views.
Foster said while the decision wasn’t what he hoped for, it was democracy in action and it was now time to think about what lay ahead for the council and the city.
But Foster lashed out on his Facebook page that morning, saying the council had left others to fight what Wellingtonians and he believe in.
“I am deeply saddened for many thousands of Wellingtonians who care passionately about this iconic place, and that council is not standing with you.”
He said real consultation on shaping the future of Shelly Bay had never been allowed to happen.
“Shelly Bay and Te Motu Kairangi/Mount Crawford together make an iconic area. An area that deserves a better response, one where our community have a chance to talk about its future.
“That has always been my desire and to the best of my ability I will continue to work with you for that. He tangata he tangata he tangata.”
Foster would also not comment on a formal complaint councillor Condie made regarding his behaviour the morning of the Shelly Bay vote.
Condie claims Foster showed her information she believed he did not have permission to share, and was potentially defamatory to a former council officer.
She posted a statement regarding the complaint on her Twitter account this afternoon.
Condie said it was a serious matter, which was now going through a formal process.
“I will respect this process and not make any further comments at this time. I have every confidence in the WCC chief executive’s ability to resolve this matter professionally and impartially.”
A council spokesperson confirmed chief executive Barbara McKerrow had received the complaint and is taking advice on the matters raised.
It’s unclear how Condie’s concerns are being dealt with as she does not specifically mention it being a Code of Conduct issue in her original complaint.
However, a council spokesperson directed the Herald to the Councillor Code of Conduct for any process queries.