Guy Burns, deputy chair of the Paraparaumu Community Board, says he’s shocked by the personal attack on him by Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunthan (Guru).
And he warns that the Gateway to Kāpiti Island project favoured by the Mayor could become a gigantic white elephant.
Mr Burns says: “I’m shocked by our Mayor’s attack on myself and Councillor Bernie Randall based on ‘neo-colonial’ grounds.
“Good grief, there’s nothing neo-colonial disagreeing with a direction the Kapiti Coast District Council wants to take, especially one were there has been little public consultation and will require two million dollars of immediate ratepayers funding, plus half an million dollars ongoing yearly expenditure”.
And he points out the planned rate rise could be kept below one per cent if the project is canned.
A potential white elephant
Mr Burns warns: “The project has the potential to be a white elephant for Kapiti ratepayers.”
No attack on Iwi, says Mr Burns
And he adds: “It’s surprising the Mayor has misconstrued our words as an attack on Iwi memory—there’s no reference in our article to Iwi at all.
“More than likely he’s using this misinterpretation as a cultural misappropriation for his own political objectives.”
“Much of the detail of the Mayor’s attack regarding the planned Gateway is not known to me—nor is it in the public domain.
Council feasibiliy study
“The Council’s Feasibility Study (https://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/media/37181/kapiti-coast-gateway-feasibility-report-final-report-030320.pdf) mentions the 450 square metre building size.
“Where does Guru get his figure of 234 square metres from?
“He mentions Iwi were involved in the choice of architects and talks about details of the design where can this information be found, where are the concept designs for us to see?
Mayor wants ratepayers to ‘fork out 2 million dollars’
“I and the public have no knowledge of them, yet the Mayor wants me and my fellow ratepayers to fork out 2 million dollars for gateway that has very little benefit for most locals.
“If this gateway project is abandoned KCDC can keep their planned rates rise down below one percent.
“Come on Mr Mayor, accusing us of neo-colonialism is outright desperation and a poor attempt to prop up a potential white elephant”.