Former KCDC Councillor Lyndy McIntyre has called on a new pro-democracy group to begin now to identify ‘electable leaders’ for the Council elections next year.
She told the inaugural meeting on Kapiti Concerned Citizens to select people ‘who are capable of running grass roots campaigns, who can stand up and be counted, and most of all – who won’t sell out the day after the elections.’
Cr McIntyre pointed out that water was the one major issue sorted out during her 2007 – 2010 term on the Kapiti Coast Council.
She said: “We booted meters out of the long-term plan and replaced them with a water supply solution. Did we have a mandate? Yes, we did.
“Water was the big issue in the 2007 election. I opposed meters and supported a collection and supply solution, education on water conservation and support to acquire water saving devices.”
“Why did I oppose water meters?” Ms McIntyre asked. Because, she said:
- ‘They’re not fair
‘Water meters will inevitably lead to charging larger families more and an unlimited water supply for those who can afford to pay. I have no confidence in council’s charging figures. I don’t believe for a minute that the charges will be anything other than a way to make money from the management and supply of water.
- ‘Because this is the first step to privatisation
‘Changes to the Local Government Act mean that water services can be handed over to a business that operates beyond the control of council. Look at the Ports of Auckland where the council controlled organisation seeks profit at all costs and tells council to butt out of decision-making.
- ‘Because there is not a water shortage in Kapiti.
‘We have abundant water – we just don’t collect and store it.’
Seven councillors opposed meters in 2007 poll
Ms McIntyre pointed out that seven successful council candidates opposed water meters in the 2007 election campaign.
She said:”We had a responsibility to make sure we got rid of meters and find a water solution.
“It was a fight, but we removed water meters and invested many weeks in meetings and hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money on consultants to come up with a water solution.
“I want to be clear though – the solution was river recharge and purchase of land for a dam in the future if it was needed.”
New Council acted ‘anti-democratically’
Ms McIntyre said: “Then a new council was elected, and it was as if this never happened. In an utterly anti-democratic manner this council forced through water meters and volumetric charging. As a resident of over 16 years I am disgusted and angered.”
She said she was I’m angered because mwater meters were invisible during the last election campaign. People thought water was sorted.
And, she said, ‘there is overwhelming evidence the community doesn’t want them.’
The council’s argument that anything else besides water meters is unaffordable is a joke, she said.
“There’s plenty of money – just not the water solution the community wants,” said Ms McIntyre. “Unlimited funding for the aquatic centre, the white elephant council building and the obscene 16% increase in the CEO’s pay. Council is happy to go deeply into debt – just not for water.”
Ms McIntyre concluded this argument by saying the water affair had been ‘an outrageous assault on our democracy.’
In her wide-ranging address, Lyndy McIntyre also outlined how the KCDC had failed democratically on three other major issues:
(1) The plans to develop Paraparaumu Airport without dealing with claims from original Maori landowners first; (2) the ‘golden handshake’ for the previous CEO; and (3) the failure to actively oppose Government plans to drive the new Expressway through the heart of Kapiti.
So now citizens we needed to look forward and select reliable candidates to stand for a new Council next year.
But, she warned: “Don’t think the answer is calling in a government statutory manager. Nothing could be further from democracy. Handing over our decision-making to this government and their mates, the big water companies, is giving up on democracy forever. Do not go down that path!”
“But don’t disengage. Re-engage the community and take over: Continue to fight on the issues that matter; keep mobilising the community around those issues; and finally, regardless of what happens about amalgamation, begin now to identify electable leaders! “