The ugly face of conflicted interests in local council governance raised it head in Wellington again today. In September, I suggested that it was time for Councils (and Councillors) to resolve the conflict of interest that exists when they appoint themselves to subsidiary company boards.
This morning, the Dominion Post published a front page article stating that Wellington City Councillors had voted to axe perks for board appointments. This sounds like a step in the right direction, however the decision will only become effective from the next term! Further, Councillors can (and probably will) still appoint themselves to plum roles. This smacks of cronyism and the feathering one's nest for personal gain.
It's disappointing that the Council has not bitten the bullet by moving immediately to appoint independent directors to the Boards of subsidiary companies. The appointment of independent directors, through a robust appointment process, will achieve at least three positive outcomes:
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.