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Mayor Sandra Goudie has chosen not to stand again at this year’s upcoming local body elections. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

Letter released after long delay

A letter written by former Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie stating her opposition to her council’s Covid-19 policy has been released to The Profile one year after it was first requested.
On December 10, 2021, Thames-Coromandel District Council signed off on its TCDC Covid Vaccine Policy, which required all TCDC workers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in its council workplaces, including all elected members.
Then-Mayor Sandra Goudie made a submission to this policy, in the form of an email, to all councillors and community board members.
On December 14, The Profile requested an electronic copy of this email under the Local Government Official Information Act.
Two days later, council’s then-group manager strategy and governance Rex Capil declined to respond “on the basis that all feedback received from staff and elected members on the policy is confidential”.
The Profile lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman, and on January 26, 2022, investigations commenced about the council’s decision to refuse the request.
However, it wasn’t until October, 2022, when the complaint was transferred to the Ombudsman’s Investigation and Resolution Team.
On November 23, 2022, an Ombudsman staffer was advised that TCDC would be providing The Profile with a revised decision on its request.
Shortly after, Sandra Goudie’s letter was released to The Profile in full.
After being asked why council decided to release the letter now rather than when it was first requested in December last year, a spokesperson said council had revised its decision “as Sandra is no longer Mayor and the policy is not in effect”.
“On review, we acknowledge former Mayor Sandra’s Covid vaccination views were already publicly known and she provided them for the elected member and staff consultation process late and outside of the consultation process.”