Code of conduct complaint against Auckland Councillor Josesphine Bartley thrown out
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town has thrown out a code of conduct complaint against Maungakiekie-Tāmaki
councillor Josephine Bartley.
The complaint followed Bartley’s alleged outburst in response a member of the public's presentation about tree removal
from Māngere Mountain and other Auckland maunga.
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town. Photo via www.govt.nz
It was initially sent to Mayor Phil Goff's office, before being passed to Town to investigate.
In a statement, the chief executive said he would not be taking the complaint further.
“The code of conduct complaint received by the Chief Executive’s office on 12 November in relation to the conduct of
Councillor Josephine Bartley at a Tūpuna Maunga Authority meeting in May, has been reviewed by myself and Professor Ron
Paterson the Convenor or the Independent Conduct Panel," Town said.
"We have jointly agreed that the matter does not meet the criteria for further investigation and we will therefore not
be taking the matter any further.”
The complaint was made by a member of the public, Kirsty Hunt, who earlier this year addressed members of the TMA on the
removal of 152 exotic trees from Māngere Mountain and tree removals from other Auckland maunga.
"I went specifically to object to the removal of 152 trees from Māngere Mountain and the planned removal of all
non-native trees from the 14 maunga of Auckland," it read.
Included in the Māngere Bridge resident's complaint was an allegation Bartley went on a "rant" following the
"Ms Bartley began shouting at me and on four occasions yelled directly at me 'you are disgusting'!" Hunt claimed.
In response, Bartley labelled the complaint "out of context".
"I can see what's happening, I can see what they're trying to do and I don't like it," she said.
"I mean, I can't say how she felt and she can't say how I felt."
She declined to comment further, opting to let Town's probe run its course.
Auckland's Tūpuna Maunga are owned by the 13 iwi/hapū of Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau through the Tūpuna Taonga o
Tāmaki Makaurau Trust.
Ownership of the land at Māngere Mountain remains with the Crown and is administered by the TMA.
The body's intention to remove non-native trees from 14 Auckland maunga, as part of its plan to restore native
vegetation, continues to cause controversy in Auckland.
More than 100 exotic trees were removed from Ōhuiarangi/Pigeon Mountain in April and 150 trees were felled on Māngere
Mountain in March, upsetting some local residents.
Now the TMA is facing a backlash – earlier this month 200 people showed up at Auckland's Ōwairaka/Mt Albert, vowing to
stay there until a promise the trees would not be chopped down was forthcoming.
Members of the protest group, Honour The Maunga, have been camped out on the mountain since November 11.
They fear the impact of losing so many trees at once could affect the mountain's birds.
The protesters group occupying plan to boycott a TMA hui on Thursday.
TMA chair Paul Majurey accused the protesters of resisting calls to discuss the issue.
He said the TMA had agreed to meet with the protest group on two separate occasions, but each time it had been rejected.
And despite the protectors' claims of inadequate consultation, a Tree Council spokesperson said earlier this month input
was invited back in April 2016.