Cr Challenges KIN Story

Kapiti Districtwide Cr Jackie Elliott

Kapiti Councillors were fully briefed on CRU Court challenge — Cr Jackie Elliott

Kapiti Districtwide Councillor Jackie Elliott has challenged a KIN story saying some councillors were not fully informed about a Coastal Ratepayers case against the KCDC.

The KIN story ( ‘Ratepayers Headed for the High Court’; Sept. 11) said: ‘November 13 is the day the High Court will hear the Coastal Ratepayers United (CRU) case against the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) over changes to coastal hazards provisions.

‘Surprisingly, the KCDC has not filed a “cross appeal”, and at least five councillors were not informed about the date for the High Court hearing.’

Cr Elliott’s reply

But Councillor Elliott says: “Councillors were fully and promptly briefed on the filing by C.R.U. of an appeal to challenge a previous court decision not to make a declaration against K.C.D.C. over coastal hazards.

“In July, while reconsidering our policy work priorities, we agreed to the Mayor’s recommendation to further work on coastal hazards. The following day the action was filed by C.R.U.

“Immediately upon the subsequent release of Greater Wellington Regional Councils Regional Coastal strategy report, we agreed with

Coastal erosion at Raumati Beach

the GWRC recommendation to form a Regional climate change response group, appointing the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow as our representatives in August,” says Cr Elliott.

We are in the process of setting up a local working group to feed into this conversation, inviting Kapiti stakeholders to take part, we envisage those to include other councillors, Community Board, Ministry of the Environment, D.O.C, Insurance industry, North Otaki beach, Horowhenua District Council, C.R.U, Iwi and Greypower representatives.

‘Foolhardy action’ of previous council

“The council did not want to repeat the foolhardy action of a previous council which proceeded with coastal hazard mitigation action without any guidance from National or Regional scientific study”, says Cr Elliott.

“We now have the science and we will proceed in slowly and carefully in partnership with our community stakeholders and fellow regional partners to plan for the future of our coastline,” says Cr Elliott.

Cr Elliott also says the challenges of climate change, are real, and are here now. She says she has family members in Miami and the Eastern Florida coast and has been worried sick all week.

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Whose ‘science’ is Cr Elliott referring to? There is a lot of debate on this in the scientific community world-wide, split between those who believe the likes of Al Gore and those who think that is nonsense (I side with the latter camp). My understanding is that Mr Dougherty proclaimed that many properties along the Kapiti Coast will be in the sea by the end of the end of the century and that was included in LIM reports; and that there was now a doctrine of ‘managed retreat’. He also told candidates in the 2013 elections not to express any contrary views.

I also do not know what the judges name is or what colour car he drives. My point being, that councillors were fully informed in a transparent manner, we had no need to be informed of a court date, nor did we need to know details of any defence filed, suffice to say we knew that one wasn’t being filed.

I applaud Councillor Elliott’s comments regarding the current High Court challenge that KCDC is facing. I have no doubt that Council was fully briefed by their solicitors Paul Beverely and Tim Power. That would’ve have been a course of action that Council is obliged to follow. However, her comments do not address the issues outlined in the KIN article mainly:

1. Councillors were not informed of the High Court date set for 13 November
2. Councillors were not informed that KCDC did not file a cross – appeal (in other words, KCDC have not filed any paper work with the High Court regarding the challenge they are facing)
3. Since their legal briefing, Councillors have not been made aware of these important updates