Local Polly of the Year

 

KCDC offices in Paraparaumu — home of surprises in 2017

2017 in Kapiti: how our local politicians did 

By KIN Local Govt. Correspondent, Jeremy Smith

( And won by a dark horse candidate! — Ed )

First, our new mayor. Mayor Gurunathan is not very different from councillor Guru pre October 2016.

Those who like him will probably still like him. Those who are suspicious probably have not changed.

Guru — credit where credit’s due

But work and relations between councillors around the council table often reflect the leader and in 2017 Kapiti council worked well enough. Credit Guru for that – mostly.

That hedge in Te Moana Road, Waikanae

But the contretemps with the Osbourne family and their Te Moana Road hedge may have been handled better.

The Mayor has put his weight behind the petition for an expanded Kapiti Health centre. The 20-thousand plus signatures should carry some weight with the planners at the Health Board and with the Parliamentarians.

The new Labour-led government is making the usual noises to be expected from a tax and spend administration, including about health.

More money to the DHBs might help the Kapiti case. And any decision towards any sort of expansion before September 2019 will probably help Guru’s re-election.

Also credit is due to Paraparaumu-Raumati community board member (and former district councillor) Kathy Spiers for her work in preparing the health centre case.

Cr David Scott

Kapiti has ten elected councillors but one – David Scott- has effectively been out of action most of the year because of criminal proceedings which are not yet concluded.

The two big committees which carry out much of the KCDC work have both run well partly because of two effective chairs, Michael Scott and James Cootes.

Michael Scott is an experienced councillor.

James Cootes — Man of the Year ( and a future Mayor?)

James Cootes, a former Otaki Community Board member is new at this level but is an experienced committee person and a clear and persistent questioner.

At the top of the table, he is concise and in charge.

His courtesy and clarity in dealing with members of the public during the public forums is also noted.

James Cootes is also very much in touch with his local Otaki community and is KIN’s call as Kapiti’s local politician for 2017.

Otaki Councillor James Cootes — Local Politician of the Year