Kāpiti Coast Councillor K Gurunathan (Guru) says the Council’s coastal ‘erosion specialist and Grand Fakir, Dr Roger Shand’ should release all his data, methodology, and assumptions used to establish the controversial coastal hazard lines.
He adds: “I understand from affected coastal property owners, who want to challenge his evidence through the Draft District Plan submission process, that Dr Shand had claimed critical aspects of his work as his “intellectual property right.”
Cr Guruntha says Dr Shand has rejected requests to release this evidence including the raw data which his contact stipulates belongs to KCDC.
“This is bizarre given council commissioned his services and ratepayers funded his work. Council itself does not have all the information and its inability to supply this information is bringing council into disrepute,” says the councillor.
“The link between climate change, sea level rise and coastal hazard is a complex science. Coastal residents, facing significant loss of property values and lifestyle, have a right to the early release of all the information to enable them to contest Dr Shand’s evidence.
“Given this complexity, KCDC made a strategic mistake in signing a contact that allows Dr Shand to claim intellectual property rights.’
Fakir causes umbrage
‘Meanwhile,” says Guru”, I have also been issued political notice that Dr Roger Shand had taken umbrage at being called a ‘fakir.’
“The notice was politely given to me last week by Mayor Jenny Rowan and KCDC chief executive, Pat Dougherty.”
Cr Gurunathan says this was in reference to his Kapiti News column ‘Notes from a corner dairy’ (January 16, 2013), where ‘I had called him, not just a fakir, but a Grand Fakir for not revealing the magic in his evidence.’