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Nod for Mayor’s credit card use

APPROVING the new credit card policy at Gisborne District Council provided no difficulty for its audit and risk committee.

The only significant discussion was over the request of Mayor Rehette Stoltz to allow her to buy flowers and cards for the bereaved “at the odd time”, or when a councillor is sick in hospital.

Such expenditure showed specific acknowledgement and was not applied “willy-nilly”, she said.

“It is the kind of thing a mayor does.”

The suggestion was accepted and adopted by the committee which, in addition to the Mayor, includes councillors Andy Cranston, Larry Foster, Pat Seymour, Terry Sheldrake and Josh Wharehinga, alongside independent chairman Bruce Robertson.

The committee perceived the Mayor's request as helping her to perform her civic duties.

Council internal audit partner Tina Swann said the council's credit card policy had not been updated since 2018.

The remainder of the policy was adopted as recommended by staff.

The council has seven credit cards with the mayor and chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann having one each with newly increased limits of $5000.

The mayor's card is approved to be used for travel or entertainment related expenses, and for bereavement cards and letters.

The chief executive's card is approved to be used for travel, accommodation and associated expenditure when on council business.

Chief financial officer Pauline Foreman has a credit card approved for “properly authorised purchases for administrative efficiencies”.

The other four cards are issued by the chief executive to key staff for “administrative efficiency”.

Committee chairman Bruce Robertson said it was important to monitor credit cards as a “self protection”.