Youngest Councillor Takes Mayor to Task
3rd September 2009
By Alan Tristram
The Kapiti Coast’s youngest councillor, Anne Molineux, has again chided Mayor Jenny Rowan and the KCDC for failing to take action to forestall the Government’s unilateral plan for an Express Way through the heart of Kapiti.
In answer to our question: ‘Where do you think the councillors and Mayor have fallen down on the job (over the ‘Express Way’), Cr Molineux says:
“Council has fallen down by not prioritizing construction of the road.
“Getting the road built has played second fiddle to constant changes to the design of the road, which have meant the start date for construction has constantly been pushed back, she says.
“Most of the changes have been made to placate a minority of residents in the community, many of whom are opposed to the whole road, regardless of its shape or size.”
Our Second Question: “Who really is responsible for the present debacle?
Cr Molineux: “Council did not heed hints from NZTA and others.
“I have it on good authority that Jenny (the Mayor) and Pat (Pat Dougherty, CEO) were told last year that they needed to speed things up before government priorities changed,” she says.
“Nathan Guy(National MP) made public comments last month about a possible expressway. The hints were there, but the Council ignored them.
“Yes, Joyce (Transport Minister Steven Joyce) made the decision, but he wouldn’t have had a chance to if construction on the WLR had started last December as was planned,’ she says.
Three: “What is the best way out of this mess?”
Cr Molineux: “As a community we need to accept that changes are going to be made and view this as an opportunity.
“The Council needs to build a constructive relationship with NZTA (New Zealand Transport Agency), which it clearly does not have at the moment, so that the interests of the Kapiti community are at the forefront of their thinking,” she says.
Cr Molineux concludes: “Pointing the finger at NZTA and reacting negatively to the proposed changes will do nothing to help this.”