Another lost cause?
By Mike Cardiff
On the 5th of July 2018 at Councils Operations and Finance Committee meeting, the result of an independent survey funded by the Waikanae Community Board was presented.
On behalf of the Friends of the Waikanae Town Centre (FOTWTC), David Sherar and Margret Delbridge spoke to the findings of the survey, which contradicts the planning proposal recommended by Council.
Yet again, we have a community group supported by the community board virtually at logger heads with Council.
Unfortunately, I was left with an overwhelmingly feeling that the submission would be received and that it wouldn’t be taken any further by Council.
Past submissions and good advice ignored
Waikanae has a recent history of community groups engaging in consultation and presenting submissions that have been ignored – for example with Waikanae One and Destination Waikanae.
A further example is the Waikanae business community views that have opposed significant parts of the Town Centres and Connectors project.
We now find ourselves in the same situation that we were in 2012 with Coastal Ratepayers United and Council over coastal hazard lines. At that time Council did not listen to local advice or expertise.
Instead, Council produced a very expensive report that was widely distributed through-out the district and eventually found not fit for purpose.
Consult with the community
The current proposed plans for the SH1 and environs revocation have not fully considered what the community has said.
I am very aware, as a hearing commissioner, the effort and time required to make submissions and representations to Council.
I am grateful that we have people within our community who take the time to give us valuable input. There is no need at this stage for any significant disconnect between submitters and Council outcomes because of incomplete consultation.
I don’t understand why we need to rush this process. There is no suggestion that everything has to be altered from the current plans.
Survey needs to be revisited by Council
I am concerned about plans that are produced by people that don’t live here and are without input from the wealth of local professional expertise willing to participate.
As a consequence, we now have a community proposal where the outcome has been predetermined and is flawed.
What we desperately require is a beneficial outcome where we have a unified community and Council that has worked together.
The role the Waikanae Community Board has played in supporting this survey has been a positive one and has high-lighted a significant level of community disconnect.
In my view the findings of the survey need to be taken into account and revisited by Council.
Should the Waikanae Community Board agree to a motion recommending referring the matter back to Council it will have my total support.