Nelson city councillor Kate Fulton is defending spending a month in India studying yoga while phoning in to council meetings.
The Nelson Weekly reported on the trip last month as it raised the ire of several councillors, with one calling the trip ‘a rort’, as she was attending meetings via teleconferencing while not actually being in the city.
Fulton said that the Weekly was perpetuating “fake news” for reporting that she was in India studying for two months to be a yoga teacher.
It was only for one month and she wasn’t studying to be a teacher.
Councillor Tim Skinner refused to accept an apology from Kate last month at a council committee meeting. He believed Kate should have applied for a leave of absence.
If councillors do not get apologies accepted four times they can be removed from council.
Kate has come under fire for shirking her time at the council table before – previously missing meetings as she was studying to be a midwife and then deciding to campaign to be West Coast Tasman’s Green Party candidate.
She says the type of yoga she is studying is “particularly beneficial for those who suffer from chronic neck, back and shoulder pain”.
“It is also beneficial for those wanting to decrease the physiological impacts of stress and live with greater calmness, contentment and equanimity in their lives.”
She defended her trip saying it did not impact on her official duties and many other councillors had also taken overseas trips while she had been on council.