Coastal Ratepayers Rejoice

'New era' with Mayor Church
‘New era’ with Mayor Church

A NEW ERA’ IN KCDC RELATIONS WITH PUBLIC, SAYS PRESSURE GROUP

The Kapiti Coastal Ratepayers United group say they are all looking forward to ‘a new era in ratepayers’ relations with Council.’ 

They say the new Mayor, Ross Church, has made it it very clear that a new page has been turned — and has indicated that ‘the days when staff dictated policy and process are gone.’

“Ratepayers with genuine concerns will not only be listened to, but their viewpoints will be given appropriate consideration,” says CRU chair Christopher Ruthe.

“We wish him well in what will be a major undertaking.”

And Mr Ruthe says the CRU committee are all agreed the election result was a victory for those seeking more openness and honesty in local body processes particularly with regard to the PDP (Proposed District Plan). 

He adds the CRU will ecclesiastically take up a real opportunity to work constructively with the new council.

Withdrawal of PDP

He says CRU member Joan Allin has prepared a 132-page summary of evidence, which takes a close look at the PDP.

“As a result of her efforts and the realisation of rural residents of how bad things were for them there was an attempt to have the Proposed District Plan withdrawn at the last meeting of the former council on October 3,” Mr Ruthe says.

“This was opposed by Mayor Rowan and her supporters Crs Booth ,Lester, Ammundsen Gaylor, et al.Three of them lost their seats.

He says: “A council adviser had recommended against withdrawal without setting what factors were taken into account. There was no reference to the strain and costs to submitters to have the PDP amended through the hearing process.

“The only reason that appeared to be advanced was that a lot of time and expense had already been incurred. The report was misleading in that it gave the impression it represented an expert opinion.”

Mr Ruthe says the council lawyer also advised against it without quoting any legal authority, and without referring to the statute that expressly give power to council to withdraw in the circumstances we have in Kapiti.

He says CRU is positive the case for the withdrawal of the PDP is overwhelming and will therefore work to achieve this. 

Science Panel of experts 2-5 December, 2013

The CRU also reminds ratepayers that a science team is working on submission for the panel that is evaluating the Shand (Coastal Hazards) Report. It advises people wanting to make an appearance they must advise KCDC by 25 October. Their letter states:

“As per (our) letter, dated 2 October 2013, the coastal expert panel will be convening between 3 December and 5 December 2013, providing submitters with an opportunity to meet with the panel to express their concerns and discuss technical issues relating to the science.

“Respond by 25 October 2013 if you, or experts acting on your behalf, wish to be involved in these meetings.

“Please contact Katie Bunker by email katie.bunker@kapiticoast.govt.nz or on 04 296 4892 to express your interest. If you have an expert acting on your behalf please provide details of their name, company and whether they will be providing written evidence ahead of conferencing with the panel.

“Once responses have been received, Robert Schofield will contact interested parties with more details of the process for the meetings, including a schedule for the meetings.”