Big Kapiti Protest


Several hundred placard-waving Kapiti residents have taken part in one of the largest protests ever against the local District Council.

They oppose a $44,000 pay rise secretly approved for chief executive Pat Dougherty in December, and a $10 million blowout on major projects.

As well as this, many are upset by large rate rises in recent years.

The rally organiser, local businessman Murray Cooper, was given unanimous support by the crowd estimated at more than 300 protestors for two resolutions:

–       That chief executive Pat Dougherty give back his $44,000 pay rise.

–       That Local Minister Minister Nick Smith be asked to appoint a Crown Observer to monitor the spending of ratepayers’ money.

Many of the protesters came from groups such as  Kapiti Grey Power and ‘Ask Us First.’ an anti-water-meter group.

Mayor responds with sympathy

Kapiti’s Mayor Jenny Rowan met Mr Cooper as protesters shouted slogans and said later:

“We understand what people are saying. And I can understand people being upset about the pay catch-up for our CEO, especially if you are on a fixed income of $30,000.

“We went through a process over the CEO’s salary late last year. It became clear during that process the CEO’s salary was completely out of kilter with his responsibilities, which are considerable, and the salaries being paid to other CEOs in the region.

“Despite the increase, he is still ranked 5th for local government CEO’s in the Wellington region.”

Turver says locals are fed up

But Chris Turver, who first disclosed the CEO’s pay rise and the costs blowout, says the protest shows that an essentially conservative population has lost patience with its council.

Mr Turver, a former mayoral candidate and ex-regional councillor, says it reflects a level of outrage never seen before in the area.

He said his phone has run hot and ‘it’s clear that email, phone and social networks have been working overtime across the district.’

He said even Kapiti Coast District Council staff – who say they are under tight pay constraints – have phoned him to complain about the scale of the chief executive’s pay rise and the signals that sends about double standards.

The protest at Paraparaumu follows one in Christchurch when residents staged a mass protest against their council’s chief executive being given a $68,000 pay increase, though CEO Tony Marryatt subsequently turned down that rise.





A Call to Alms,
Dear Citizens and Ratepayers of Kapiti. We are very rapidly coming to a juncture of our extreme patience/tolerance regarding our position/situation, to the amount of Rates that can satisfactory be absorbed by our community.
The KCDC Mayor and councillors must in future work on the premise that “they must work strictly to and with the attitude, within the overall Countries Economy and must be unswerving to Serve the needs of the Community as it so requires, and not to the whim and fancy of the Mayor and her councillors, CEO and some Staff.”
It is a very sore point that it appears in an ever escalating situation, major contracts costs have been blown out of all proportion. This council has become known by contractors as a soft touch, quote today, add on tomorrow, and from this end ‘she’l be right, the ratepayers will cough-up.
Over the past weeks KCDC have had the hard word laid on it, and so what do we see in this week’s Kapiti News (8th Feb.) under ‘Kapiti Update’ – ‘Council unveils aggressive plan to cut costs’. So I wonder what now gave them the idea that they need to start cutting costs, could it be that the thought of Ratepayer’s gathering to protest was a little too close to home and that they might be looking after their jobs – sorry, but you are too late, you are dog tucker.
It also appears that a former media representative, now a councillor, has somewhat changed his stripes, and somehow appears to forget that he lost his previous position for writing about matters that were not correct, therefore he should have taken this into account before making accusations about local man Murray Cooper, which again is another article in today’s Kapiti News, I think he should quit, while he is ahead, as should a very large majority of the other councillors, say 99%.

Chris Turver reckons council staff are phoning him? What a load of bollocks. That man needs to get over his hurt feelings that twice now the district have voted that they dont want him to be the Mayor. Sour grapes

Have you forgotten your surname? Don’t you believe in people having a say for the people who just sit back and let those, just walk all over you while taking your money as well.
Politics is not all bad, and getting bitter about previously missing out at elections, it is about facing up and endeavouring to point out the facts to the community, those who generally stand back as the silent public.