Part 1: Introduction

How the Thames-Coromandel District Council managed leasing arrangements for Council land in Whitianga.

Our inquiry scope and process

The Auditor-General received a request to inquire into the Council’s management of leasing arrangements for a block of land in Moewai Road, Whitianga – commonly referred to as the Sherriff Block. The request raised concerns about the way the Council had managed the lease for the land and the handling of Cr Sieling’s interest in the lease.

We assessed the material provided to us and decided that there were matters that warranted further inquiry. We set the terms of reference for our inquiry in April 2009.

We carried out our inquiry under section 18 of the Public Audit Act 2001, which provides for the Auditor-General to inquire into any matter concerning a public entity’s use of resources.

In carrying out our inquiry, we held telephone discussions with Mr Steve Ruru (the Council’s Chief Executive), Cr Sieling, and Mr Manolo Echave (the promoter of a music festival event that was held on the Sherriff Block).

We reviewed information provided by the Council, Cr Sieling, and the parties who raised the matter with us.

Our report sets out:

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