Mannequin Madness in Kapiti

KCDC district-wide Councillor Jackie Elliott

Kapiti Councillor deplores ‘vulgar’ mannequin demo outside KCDC HQ

By Cr Jackie Elliott

KCDC Civic Building

Three well known anti-council protesters have created a vulgar mannequin display outside the Kapiti Coast District Council building during a Council meeting.

This, and their (alleged) releasing of details of an in-house sexual conduct complaint to the media, has shown reckless disregard for the sensitivities and well-being of both parties involved in the complaint — both of whom are our well liked and well respected colleagues.

The display last Thursday also showed complete disregard for the well-being of all the workers and public in council on the day, undoing, at the first opportunity, the efforts made by management to provide a safe workplace as is their legal obligation.

‘Deeply embarrassed’

Whoever (organised) this display, and the distasteful messages attached to parts of their plastic bodies, the effect did not discriminate. I was deeply embarrassed and disturbed by the whole scene, for myself, my colleagues, staff and the public, including children and elderly residents who saw the display.

(Note: KIN earlier decided not to publicise this demonstration in an effort to protect innocent parties. However, when elected representatives, including Cr David Scott, make public statements, KIN tries to publish these as part of the democratic process.)

I recall that the three people responsible, screamed foul loudly last year accusing the then Mayor and council of ‘re–victimising ‘ a Waikanae woman who had complained about a councillor’s email, yet here they were actively re victimising a female complainant themselves.

What vexes me most, and still really upsets me is that one of these three protesters was a woman. What point was she making at council with these female mannequins?  I just can’t process this.

As a councillor, I get and welcome a lot of phone calls from the public, but this weekend I received a number of phone calls from one of these protestors,

‘Lots’ of messages — and some threats — from the public received by popular Councillor

threatening that this was the first of 10 planned demonstrations against council.

A White ribbon advert opposing male violence towards women

What are we, women at council, supposed to do? All take leave of absence for a few months so we can feel safe, until they finish amusing themselves.

Absence ourselves from our jobs, abandon council meetings and daily routines out of fear? Turn our phones off?  I think not. Why should any woman be scared away from her workplace in this day and age?

Beyond White Ribbon status

Three years ago, I had K.C.D.C’s self appointed White Ribbon status publicly revoked to stop workplace bullying. This triennium, under new leadership, the council chambers are  a very different and positive place to be in for me, and it should be for all. Always.

I’m also associated with a company whose founder, a well known NZ business woman, devotes her time and resources to her mentoring programme for the rehabilitation of female prisoners. I am proud to support her ongoing success in rebuilding the futures of women and their children whose lives are shattered by the effects of lifelong abuse.

To make a public mockery of abuse against women, against anyone, is abhorrent. This juvenile mannequin antic has achieved nothing constructive and done nothing but cause deliberate distress to all those who saw it.

Kerry Bolton – you’re one sad individual. You were helping Dale put up the mannequins, so stop pretending you weren’t involved. David is a “subject of public mockery”? Oh the poor wee man, being reprimanded for (allegedly) harassing a female. Why don’t you put your time and energy into some kind of volunteer work for the good of the community…

(Note: This comment was abridged because of possibly libellous remarks, Ed)

In my view – your closing comments (K. Bolton 4 May 2017) in response to Councillor Jackie Elliott:
• Reduce the valence of your expressed ‘righteous indignation’
• Unnecessarily regurgitate hurtful speculative insinuations
• Suggest an understanding of the ‘moral compass’ of another – a paradigm that has taxed a range of ‘intellects’ through time
The words of Edmund Burke:’ Evil prospers when good men (and women) do nothing.’- hold continual relevance.

I was once told in Sydney that “if you want the media to cover your event you need to do something out of the ordinary.” Dale Evans follows that principle although in his case it can be more a case of being inappropriately outrageous.

Jackie,

I fully agree that this is just so sad.

I didn’t see this protest, however I have seen two of the regular “anti council protesters” outside the council chamber and both were dressed like a couple of Hobo’s!

In my experience people who have differing views, their absolute free right, have the most success where they:-

1. Wear professional attire. The few councilors that I have met always look very ‘professional & have taken care with their grooming.

2. Influence folks by the moderation and intellectual strength of their argument.

3. Are fully aware that anger, bullying and boorish behaviour never changed anything. In fact just the opposite, as they play into the other parties hands.

In summary I consider that my item 2 would be a huge stretch for the folks that you refer too! (Smiling). Probably all the above would be! I would hope, that like a lot of retirees, that while I see some things that I consider that the Council could do better, I consider that the folks who represent us give a tremendous amount of their time to make our community special, and it is! So Well Done to you all and in my view you sure don’t deserve and shouldn’t have to put up with “the Rubbish’ that happened last Thursday.

Keep up you good work

Tony Fraei

Tony
If you are stating that I dress ‘like a hobo’, I was wearing a new tweed jacket, pressed trousers and shirt (as always), tidily groomed, (as always). What a silly quip to make. An apology please. Perhaps however, this is mistaken identity and you were actually seeing the mannequins, whom admittedly did look somewhat disheveled.

I do not need a condescending lecture on the strength of intellectual argument. Unfortunately, integrity of facts does not commend itself to council, and the response in my lamentable experience is one of lies, intimidation, bullying, and outright insults. You have obviously not experienced council when it is reduced to chaotic jabbering in reaction to being challenged.

One can only have intelligent discourse when the other party is at least an intellectual peer. Otherwise, satire, an honoured tradition since at least the times of Juvenal (note, NOT juvenile), might be one of the few methods available, especially when council responds to questions of concern with banal responses, or in more common parlance, one is ‘fobbed off’ as an interfering pleb.

Talking with women from the wider community over the last few days, their reaction is unequivocally one of concern about the way genuine cases of abuse and harassment are undermined by this type of sleazy allegation; not the admittedly somewhat questionable taste of the display which is seen at most as trivial by comparison. Indeed, I suggest that Cllr. Elliott’s concern has all the colouring and semantic wriggling of a very big red herring, and Jackie on her own experiences, I contend, knows damn well what the situation is.

Furthermore these wonderful public servants are remunerated far beyond their value, and it appears you have little notion about what goes on at council., or of some of the principals involved in this latest fiasco, for which I feel sorry for Guru whom I have known for several decades.

I too was naive in regard to council shenanigans until confronted with it a few years ago; and that was real eyeopener, unfortunately again at the expense of an innocent, and in that instance literally an innocent life, no less.

Furthermore, your insulting screed, Tony, seems to have upset my wife a great deal, as she is concerned about your judgmental approach.

In the words of Edmund Burke:’ Evil prospers when good men (and women) do nothing.’

What a thoroughly inaccurate slur. There were no elderly and children that were offended; no quantity of public and staff having to walk past. Why do you suppose the display was promptly taken down, virtually as soon as it was put up? What Dale does with it is his affair. You make a bunch of assumptions, but the poor taste is hardly approaching what has been said about Cllr. Scott.

It is also garbage to claim that my wife and i are ‘well known anti-council protesters’. On what basis is that stated? I have lived here for 22 years and have spoken a couple of times at council on dog welfare issues.

Do i have a grievance that has not been rectified? – damned right – and you more than most are aware of those circumstances. It was partly the result of my concerns about the misuse of the ‘white ribbon’ and bogus allegations that resulted in Mr McCann’s request for KCDC to revoke the self-declared designation. We both made representations at the same time because we had the same concerns. I share part of the credit, thanks. My own experiences with the prior council are analogous to those of Cllrs Scott’s present situation; so please excuse my outrage.

Are you unable to understand that there are women who find it objectionable the way bogus complaints undermine genuine cases?

Furthermore, what is the idea of implying that my wife and I were somehow involved in leaking details of the complaint to the media? ‘Alleged releasing’ ? – alleged by whom? Your own imagination? Explain yourself please. It was the complainant who leaked details to an outside source.

What was the meaning of the bizarre stunt of trying to involve the police? They are as perplexed as to what their involvement was supposed to be as myself.

Finally, it is David Scott who has been the subject of public mockery, and now you are trying to deflect attention away from those responsible . Nice.

I seem to recall that in 2015 you were the subject of a sleazy rumour from within council which you stated had devastated those close to you. Your reaction to this issue is a disgrace which i suggest you are trying to deflect with feigned moral outrage.