Kapiti Plan Derided

coastal hazardsSex has ‘gazumped’ Guru’s message, say Coastal Ratepayers

By Alan Tristram

The Coastal Ratepayers group says ‘sex and prostitution have guzumped the message Councillor Gurunathan was bringing.’

It says that message was about the serious flaws in the Proposed District Plan (PDP).

Christopher Ruthe, chair of the Coastal Ratepayers United (CRU), says: ” Retired (Environment Court)Judge Allin had prepared her evidence for the hearings on the PDP. In doing so, she found serious flaws in the PDP.

“Her passing reference to commercial sex was a fleeting example of problems with the PDP, a few lines in 122 pages.”

Media ‘beating up’ story

Mr Ruthe says it’s distressing to see the media ‘beating up a titillating story rather than challenging readers and listeners to ask why our PDP is so bad.’

He adds: “We are fortunately having the opportunity to work with a new Council.

“Mayor Church has said he is wanting co-operation and community participation in getting things right. He has put strategies in place to achieve this.”

In a further criticism of the PDP, he says it is so badly written it is unintelligible in parts.

“I believe everyone involved knows it needs drastic amendment. The question is –will it be more cost effective to work on redrafting the faulty parts of the PDP or to withdraw it and start afresh,” he says.

“This is the question KCDC needs to answer in the coming months. It is understandable that they want input from two experts to advise on the best way ahead.

“We need constructive debate. We do not need labeling. Whether a person is an anarchist, a Malaysian or mislabeled an evangelical is irrelevant and leads to degenerate debate and not enlightenment.”




As an architect formerly working for both HNZC ,WCC and HPNZ, I was often required to comment upon submitted residential designs. Where these designs were so obviously flawed it was well neigh impossible to suggest solutions to provide a working outcome. The result was often more time spent in rework than in the production of the original design.

This is so with the current PDP.

How many people during their working lives have been stuck with a fixed budget and plan based on inadequate flawed information and poorly worked out decisions, usually produced in haste.
It is so much easier to start afresh with a clear strategy about what is required than try and modify a seriously flawed solution.

KCDC should man up and admit the existing PDP is a dog and start again.

As I noted during public speaking time at the Council meeting of 7 November the Council can gain in much in public esteem by being humble, admitting a failed process, accept input from well informed and qualified people within the community and move on. It is not that hard.

It isn’t a case of the least cost initially, its a case of a workable document that is going to be with us for at least 10 years and probably longer, hence the need to get it right now and save time money and anguish further down the track. (Not to mention consultant and legal costs.).

Given the potential for regional amalgamation and the need for greater consistency across all districts, any District Plan should align with a common format, rather than be an idiosyncratic, complex and unintelligible. I recall earlier DP’s were confined to a single small soft bound booklet. The current PDP involves 3 large hard cover binders together with a maps volume.

Whatever happened to less is more. A good editing process is called for in any document. Clearly this has not happened with the PDP.

It is not just the Coastal Hazard issue that needs to be addressed. Other issues involve the rural environment, the outdated Sustainable Transport Policy 2008, surreptitious non highlighted minor amendments for no obvious reason, affordable housing etc., to name but a few.

Yet again this is an issue that the new Council must address to claim any credibility with a large well informed section of the community who voted for change. But again this needs to be an open and be a transparent process involving genuine consultation not mere lip service.

Here’s a great opportunity for the new Council, councillors and senior staff to work with rather than against the community they are there to serve. We desperately need a change of culture at Council.

Is the Mayor capable of leading that change?

Could not agree more with Mr Ruthe. The issue is the PDP and its defects. The brothel issue is merely an example of the idiocy of the detail of the PDP, albeit it has attracted media attention.
If this means more open and sensible debate on the PDP that’s good. If it means the debate degenerating into some sort of side show that’s not good. So lets concentrate on the main issue of the PDP and its resolution whether by withdrawal (my preference) or modification. We need a workable document with majority support that assists the sensible development of the District and encourages good solutions. We do not need an overly complicated,lengthy,weighty and flawed document that introduces unnecessary bureaucracy.