Queenstown’s council is broadening its conflict policies to cover contractors after a Mountain Scene-prompted inquiry.
Law firm Simpson Grierson was called in to probe the actions of consultant property manager Dan Cruickshank after this newspaper raised a conflict of interest with the APL-employed property manager.
Cruickshank’s a director and shareholder of family company One Mile Holdings, which bought a pricey Fernhill section across the road from the Heritage Hotel - and then haggled with the council over access to its reservoir.
Council refuses to cough up a copy of the Simpson Grierson probe, saying it’s legally privileged.
A summary provided by council says there was a conflict and Cruickshank’s been cleared.
However, the law firm says the council needs to broaden its conflicts policy to include all contractors and the council needs to tighten disclosure processes - including written council agreement.
Council boss Adam Feeley says the changes will be made, while ensuring contractors “are well aware of their
A timeline reveals Cruickshank asked the council in his professional capacity if it was going to buy the land on July 11, 2013 - six days before he declared his conflict.
As previously reported, Cruickshank raised access issues over the Fernhill block with the council two months earlier.
Simpson Grierson deemed Cruickshank’s disclosure adequate but says earlier disclosure to his paymasters APL “would have been appropriate”.
Feeley says he’s pleased no impropriety was found.
He says conflicts will happen in a small district - the concern is ensuring they’re declared early and managed well.
“No disciplinary action is being taken, nor is it warranted. There is no suggestion that Mr Cruickshank intentionally deceived the council at any time.”
APL director Joanne Conroy says the company was comfortable “right from the word go” that there was no impropriety. The changes being made by council will simply make such processes more formal, she says.