POLARISING NORTH Shore mayor Andrew Williams could be stripped of his justice of the peace title, after revelations he urinated in public and then drove home after drinking at a bar for several hours.
The Sunday Star-Times' revelations led to calls for the mayor's resignation, but Williams went on the front foot all week, defending his behaviour and announcing his intention to stand for the Auckland super city council.
But his actions have appalled others. Alison Thomson, head of the New Zealand Justices' Association, said Williams' behaviour – he also posted on the internet a cartoon of Local Government Minister Rodney Hide dressed as Adolf Hitler – was "unbecoming of a JP".
The cartoon has been removed from Williams' Facebook page.
The association had forwarded complaints received by its national office to the Ministry of Justice which could make a recommendation to the Governor-General for Williams to have his JP title suspended. All mayors automatically gain JP status for the period they hold office.
"What he's been up to lately I would not expect from a JP. I think most citizens, let alone JPs, have a strong feeling about the use of the swastika. The use of it is fairly abhorrent to most people," Thomson said.
There's not really much more that we can say, other than to nod our heads in agreement. The Hide/Nazi picture was a step too far, in our considered opinion.