A long-running legal dispute between former Invercargill mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt and his council has been settled.
Sir Tim Shadbolt was trying to recover his legal expenses against Invercargill City Council and its insurer, Riskpool, after a defamation case was brought against him by former councillor Karen Arnold.
In 2018, a jury found Shadbolt and the Southland Times newspaper not guilty of defaming Arnold in a series of columns in 2014 and 2015.
Arnold was subsequently declared bankrupt.
The council and Riskpool have not accepted liability for the expenses, but they have confirmed they have agreed to a resolution which Sir Tim was satisfied with, and he has agreed to drop the proceedings.
The council has incurred $285,000 in costs to date.
Invercargill City mayor Nobby Clark said that was likely to increase if they had not reached a settlement.
“Throughout this process, council has been measured in its consideration of options and councillors have worked to balance lawful obligations and the interests of the community,” Clark said.
“It was important for council to draw a line under these proceedings and move forward.”
Sir Tim lost the mayoral race at last year’s election and did not receive a seat at the council table either.
Story Credit: rnz.co.nz