Waikanae Board Loses Another Member

Jill Griggs has advised the KCDC Chief Executive she is resigning from the Waikanae Community Board from 18 September 2020. 

Jill Griggs

Her move means the Board will have lost half its elected members in one month. Earlier, Geoffrey Churchman resigned following a row over a satirical article in his blog Waikanae Watch.

Why Jill Griggs joined the Board

Jill, who has been deputy chair, says that last year she decided to step down from her senior Central Government role to spend more of her time with her family and to contribute to local activities.

In anticipation of this she ran for the Waikanae Community Board and was successful in last year’s elections.

Since then she feels she has made a significant contribution to the Community Board activities, perhaps most notably the re-establishment of the Waikanae Community Market.

Jill says: “While I completely support the principle of democracy, it is, by its very nature, an inefficient process and my question is whether this is the best place for me. 

” I have spent my professional life getting things done, such as establishing US based Gartner Group in New Zealand and setting up the Electoral Commission. 

“On reflection, I think there are better ways for me to use these skills in the community than by being a local politician.

“I had also hoped to use my skills as a mediator to harmonise views to help achieve local outcomes. 

Why disillusionment set in

“But I have found that politics is often based on celebrating points of difference and that reaching consensus can be perceived to weaken a political platform.

“My feelings of being a square peg in a round hole have been increasingly uncomfortable.

“And when Geoffery Churchman’s recent resignation required a by election to be held, I decided to take advantage of this to avoid incurring any additional ratepayer expense. 

The Board in happier days (l to r): Margaret Stevenson Wright, Jill Griggs, Geoffrey Churchman, Jocelyn Prvanov, James Westbury

“There is no other connection between my resignation and Geoffery’s.

“I have learned a lot during my term as an elected member and would like to thank KCDC staff and other elected members, particularly my Community Board colleagues, who have provided me with such great professional and personal support during this time. 

An apology to Waikanae residents

I would also like to apologise to the residents of Waikanae, who so kindly elected me, that I feel unable to continue in the role as an elected member and assure them that I will continue to be active in the community – but in roles more fitting with my skills.”

Jill has also stepped down from her role as Deputy Chair of the Board with immediate effect. Margaret Stevenson-Wright will be acting Deputy Chair until the next Community Board meeting on 29 September when the role will be formally appointed.

Hopefully, this won’t be seen as the beginning of the end of Kapiti’s community boards, which is what both the present mayor and council CEO want. These two men love top-down management where people are rewarded for obedience rather than doing what’s in the best interest of Ratepayers. During last Thursday’s Council meeting, the mayor referred to WCB chair James Westbury as “James Library Westbury” –, one of this mayor’s many snide remarks that demonstrate his contempt for those who want things he doesn’t, such as a proper Library for Waikanae. The potential role for the community boards is a discussion that needs to take place in the community at large.

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