Kapiti Council Apologises

Our investigations confirm that there was an inaccuracy as a result of human error, and we apologize. Wayne Maxwell, Group Manager, Corporate Services

Local activist vindicated

By Roger Childs

Salima Padamsey picked up on some errors in a January newspaper column by Kapiti Mayor, K Gurunathan. It related to the Kapiti Council  (KCDC) voting on changes to standing orders late last year. (See the detail by scrolling down to March 5)

KCDC hasn’t had a great record on making apologies in recent years. In 2016, Councillor Michael Scott was found by the Chemis Report to have breached the Code of Conduct standards in an aggressive and abusive email to Waikanae’s Sue Smith, but he would not apologize, despite the requests of his fellow councillors.

Then back in 2014, during the Ross Church regime, KCDC took an age to apologize to Otaki’s Diane and Peter Standen, over the ridiculous court case council took against them over tidying up some diseased and dangerous native bush.

Keeping the politicians honest

Some would argue that Ms Padamsey’s points on the standing orders voting is “small stuff” which is not worth worrying about.

However, the fact remains that the Mayor misled the public about the degree of support for the changes. Then CE Dougherty, pictured left, compounded matters by getting the detail wrong in answering an OIA request.

Setting the record straight on fine details is important, because providing “alternative facts” on minor issues can lead to politicians feeling they can get away with a similar approach on more significant matters.

In the meantime:

  • The Mayor needs to apologize for his “human errors”

    corrected minutes for the Council Meeting in question will be resubmitted

  • KCDC’s OIA response to Ms Padamsey will be corrected and sent to her.

However, there is still one “loose end” to tidy up: Mayor Gurunathan needs to apologize for his errors in the January Kapiti News article.

KIN commends Salima on her watchdog role and, in particular, her vindication over the standing orders voting.

Kapiti citizens are fortunate to have her vigilance and persistence, in keeping a close eye on the actions of our elected local body representatives.