Councillor Gaylor Answers O’Toole

Penny Gaylor

A challenge by our new columnist Sean Fintan O’Toole to politicians has been taken up by Penny Gaylor, Kāpiti’s Regional Councillor.

Sean challenged Penny Gaylor and Mayor K Gurunathan to name just two concrete achievements over the past three years.

Councillor Gaylor answered immediately by pointing to her greatest achievement — getting a Capital Connection replacement train into the Greater Wellington Long Term Plan.

She says ‘it’s probably my biggest concrete achievement.

And she says the Greater Wellington Regional Council is now finalising a business case for a replacement train for the popular Capital Connection service between Palmerston North and Wellington.

Penny says her second major achievement was to highlight the momentous shift to get a productive political relationship between the Regional Council and the Kapiti District Council.

She points out this was a commitment she campaigned on.

Being at the coalface as a KCDC Districtwide Councillor, I find it hard to fathom what a ‘momentous shift to get a productive political relationship between the Regional Council and the Kapiti Coast District Council’. actually means. In practice, her seat has been stone cold and empty.
Oh sure it was all promises of regular contact to begin with, but the reality is the GWRC attended just one workshop with our full council and staff in Kapiti.
I am sure that the last regular GWRC Council meeting was held in Kapiti during the tenure of the previous Regional Councillor of nine years, Cr Nigel Wilson, and he had nearly 100% attendance at all Kapiti District Community Board meetings for the entire 9 years, How many has Cr Gaylor attended?
Cr Gaylors has meanwhile been a regular apology to our Kapiti council meetings, and all the Regional and council stakeholder committees I attend. The tally of concrete achievements remains at one.

Nice that Penny has been quick to respond. Unlikely this would have happened in a non-election year… To be honest the fact that this question even needs to be asked suggests a problem.

However, with that said, it is important not to think that just because someone can make up a ‘major achievement’ they are actually fit to be a councillor. Hard to refute claims such as “business case being developed” and “political relationship” are potentially significant but not necessarily what we need from a representative. We need consistent small actions that prioritize the well being of our community.

“productive political relationship between the Regional Council and the Kapiti District Council.”… I have big doubts about that. Near the end of May, Wayne Maxwell, CEO of the KCDC, had sharp things to say about the GW’s Annual Plan in the KCDC’s submission on it.

No reply from our mayor yet, he is obviously trying hard to think of 1 concrete achievement and he would be struggling to think of 2. He is very good at posing for media photos but not a lot of substance in other areas.

Only one achievement ! Mr O’Toole asked for two—not much activity for over two years on the job at Greater Wellington Regional Council….


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