Local Government Minister David Carter is being asked to rule whether the Kapiti Coast District Council has ‘breached its responsibilities to its ratepayers by bulldozing through a controversial decision to install water meters in Kapiti.’
Former regional councillor Chris Turver has written to the Minister saying the Council has acted undemocratically and breached the purpose of Local Government Act to enable democratic local decision-making.He says the Council ignored the largest petition ever held in Kapiti when 8,000 ratepayers protested against water meters, ignored its own recent ratepayer survey which showed a majority opposed water meters and wanted a dam, and ignored a record 2423 long term plan submissions, most opposed to water meters.
Citizens told ‘meters not on agenda’
Mr Turver says sitting behind all this is an undertaking before the last local election by all candidates, including the Mayor, that water meters were not on the agenda and then breaking that promise just four months later, announcing they wanted them.
“The greatest con job is that the Council claims it needs water meters to reduce consumption by 25 percent – yet it admits losing more than 25 percent of all its treated water through its cracked supply pipes and doing little to fix them,” he says.
“Public consultation has been a farce, culminating in the disclosure last week that the Council had already gone out to tender for 11,000 meters and 7,800 manifolds before the consultation process had been completed or the Council had made a decision.
While a section providing for “community views in relation to decisions” was repealed in the 2010 Amendment Act there was no intention that local authorities should ride roughshod over their electors.
Should Council be reined in?
Mr Turver adds: “The Minister could reasonably consider whether Kapiti Coast District Council, which is already in trouble with its ratepayers over a range of issues, should be allowed to continue its role unchecked.
“Within the space of the last three months it’s been disclosed the Council has overspent major project budgets by $10 million, given its chief executive a $44,000 pay rise, and has scandalised ratepayers by totally rebuilding its council chambers.”
Mr Turver is also sending his letter to the Local Government Commission which is responsible under the Act for “promoting good practice relating to a local authority.”…Read letter on Letter Page
Further Information: Chris Turver 06-3643640 or 027-2301601