The Kapiti Coast Council has voted 8 to 2 in favour of accepting two tenders for the installation of residential water meters in the north and south of the district.
Councillors K Gurunathan and Tony Lloyd both abstained from the vote. Councillor Ellis was absent.
The decision was made despite appeals made in public speaking time by anti-meter campaigners.
Speakers oppose meters
Joy Svenden asked Council to defer any decision in light of the lack of public support for the scheme. Jean Kahui reminded council that yesterdays landmark Waitangi Tribunal decision giving ownership of the Waikato riverbed to Waikato tribes would have serious implications for our districts river recharge scheme and so the water meters decision should be deferred.
Jenny Cronin questioned the conflict of interest of having a current Community Board member ‘s family business invited to tender and then awarded a multi million dollar contract.
In accepting the tenders, Councillor Penny Gaylor questioned Council’s position should it face criticism for awarding a tender to a family business run by Mr Harold Thomas, an ex Councillor and current Waikanae Community Board member.
The Mayor stated she did not feel the public would see a conflict of interest and so there was no contingency, and could not confirm whether or not Mr Thomas senior was a Director of the company run by his son. The Mayor also stated that as a Community Board member, he was not a member of Council.
(It has now been confirmed that Mr Harold Thomas is one of two directors in the company)
In public speaking time, I reminded Council that the KCDC’s accidental release of four different costing’s for the dam option in the media over the past week had made a mockery of Council’s figures — and that had made anti water meter campaigners’ jobs very easy.
Mayor and 7 Councillors vote yes
But Council went ahead with the mayor and seven councillors voting for meters.
Ask Us First comments: “So we will be campaigning for all income from the district-wide volumetric charging to be collected and held in a public trust to fund the construction of the planned Maungakotukutuku dam, and other future water supply infrastructure.”
(Cr Cardiff has already indicated his interest in the proposal made during the submission process)