Councillor wears body camera to work for alleged bullying

Long Lunch 25/09/2018
Photo: Horowhenua District Council.

A Horowhenua District councillor fearing for his safety has taken to wearing a body camera on the advice of police.

At a council meeting last week, Ross Campbell announced he would be wearing the camera due to feeling threatened by another councillor.

“I have been treated very badly over the past two years. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to be nice to some of the councillors, one in particular has spiralled down to a point where I feel threatened and my health and safety is at risk,” Mr Campbell told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen.

The former Horowhenua deputy mayor says in order to protect himself he “needs to put a boundary in place” to prevent further, more serious altercations.

Mr Campbell believes he is being bullied “to the highest degree”.

“One particular councillor is willing to take me outside and bash me up […] and being very, very abusive in language that I would never repeat,” he said.

He alleges to RadioLIVE that the councillor in question is an ex-cop who is “used to throwing his weight around”.

“The transition from a policeman back into the public arena is not easy – I’m trying to give him all the help I can.

“But I don’t want to be at the blunt end of his threats and conversations.”

The bodycam is recording all conversations and exchanges Mr Campbell has with other councillors and council staff.

Council chief executive David Clapperton has requested more information on how the camera would be used in council, citing privacy concerns for staff.

Listen to the full interview with Ross Campbell above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.