Calls for mayor to explain licence

Sir Tim Shadbolt. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery

SOME Invercargill residents believe Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt should “come clean” about his driving situation.

The Southland Express took to Invercargill’s streets last week to ask people how they felt about Sir Tim’s silence about the matter.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) confirmed Sir Tim’s 1F (car full licence) and 6F (motorcycle full licence) had been suspended.

However, no further details were available on why or when the licence was suspended.

The majority of people spoken to believed Sir Tim should be honest with the community.

All of the people questioned were residents of Invercargill.

Student Jacob Craig (18) said since the information had come out about Sir Tim, the mayor should give the community an explanation.

“I think it should be a private matter between him and council, but since it is out and the subject has become public, he should definitely come clean with the whole situation.”

Barista Damon Milne (45) highlighted Sir Tim was a public person who was “running the town”.

“He should tell the public why he had his driver’s licence suspended. It could be anything, but if he keeps quiet it makes us wonder.”

Groundsman Frank Garty (78) agreed with him.

“It is interesting because it could be a health issue. I think he should tell us the reason for his suspension

“Just because you are Sir Mayor Tim, doesn’t stop you from being a human being and we know that human beings have flaws. It would be better to be honest with the community.”

Jess Walker (37) said he should speak up, as there had been a lot of controversy and questions about his leadership and ability to govern the city in recent years.

“There has been a lot of… controversy about his declining health and how he has been handling things. Like, when he is speaking, you can notice it a lot. And if he had his driver licence revoked that just proves a point.

“I think he should explain why… it is not a big deal but there is a reason people don’t have a licence. I think he should speak up, as he is the mayor, if he is not able to drive any more.”

However, stay-at-home mum Trinity Kenneally (48) said Sir Tim’s driver’s licence was his own business.

“I don’t think he needs to give any explanation. That is a private matter and we don’t ask other people about their driver’s licence.

“Just because he is the mayor, it doesn’t mean he has to.”

Sir Tim’s rights to privacy were echoed by businesswoman Mariama Stiles (49).

“If it was me, I would prefer this information to be kept in private and I think he has the right to do so. I know he is the mayor, but he is still allowed to have a private life.”

Sir Tim has not replied to phone calls and was yet to reveal why his licence was suspended.

An NZTA spokesman said a licence could be suspended either because a driver had accumulated too many demerit points, or on medical grounds.