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Big Payout To Councillor’s Daughter

The owners of the Hungry Frenchman restaurant Grant Walker and Anna Hudson, have been paid $360,000 by the Dunedin City Council to end the lease of their Civic Centre premises. Anna Hudson is the daughter of Dunedin City Councillor, Paul Hudson. The Council wanted them out of the way so the Town Hall upgrade could proceed.
The Council does appear to have followed correct procedure, obtaining independent advice and Councillor Hudson withdrew from the decision-making process. But the amount seems very large considering the restaurant may not have been doing well, and may not have exercised it’s right to extend the lease.
It seems to me that having Councillors withdraw from meetings when items in which they have an interest are being discussed, does not fully allay public concerns. There may be a feeling that there is an understanding of “You look after me this time, and I’ll look after you next time”.

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