Kāpiti Council doubles ‘spin doctors’ In Just 5 Years

Guy Burns, Deputy Chair of the Paraparaumu Raumati Community Board, asks why the Kāpiti Coast Council has doubled its public relations staff in the last five years.

Guy Burns

He says the Kāpiti Coast PR team now totals eight, with three staff on $80,000-$120,000, and one on $120,000plus.

Read the background at: (https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/in-depth/399918/councils-public-relations-spending-jumps-latest-figures-show)

‘Cold truths’ needed

“Public Relations staff are perceived as spin-doctors; whose job is to manipulate public opinion away from the cold truth of reality,” he says.

“They can be a barrier between the public’s access to truth and transparency.”

Mr Burns says Kāpiti faces rapidly rising rates, sky rocketing staff numbers and an ‘appalling high’ debt burden.

Kapit Coast District Council HQ — complete with 8 spin doctors

“The very fact that our Council has doubled its number of PR staff, in a short time, is extremely worrying,” he says.

KCDC should be improving its website access to Council documents so people can form their own opinions on the information available; rather than relying on spin-doctors’ manipulation of the facts.

Good to hear Chris, Indeed I believe we shall have a new mayor in less than a week.

In the private confidence of this message board I will, however, say I am mildly concerned that Gwynn brings to much of his PR mentality to Council. So far he has already well and beyond promised the Kapiti Coast everything he could possibly offer, and I find it unlikely he will be able to deliver on it all. I just hope KC residents understand not everything can happen in the short 3 years of a single triennium and don’t blame him if he spends most his time fighting the CEO instead.

Also speaking of Gwynn Compton (as we somehow now seem to be doing), I told him I was concerned by his proposed wholistic restructuring of Council governance in the midst of an organizational review. As of yet he has not respond to my suggestion that he delay the governance changes until after the review.

P.S. – I would also like to reiterate my appreciation for the freedom the Kapiti Independent news has given to the citizens of our region by providing such a valuable message board for discussions. Editor of KIN: thank you sincerely.

Henry, don’t tell anybody but me and the wife voted for the bearded one. Couldn’t bring myself to vote for G again.

Yes indeed Chris Walker. Though I would not necessarily say that all people who work in PR are ‘spin doctors’. Gwynn Compton has worked as a senior communications advisor for some years now and he presents a fairly robust strategic vision for Council.


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