Guru Lashes Bureaucracy

GuruCouncillor accuses previous administration of creating ‘propaganda unit’

By Alan Tristram

The radical Kapiti Coast Councillor who helped oust former Mayor Jenny Rowan has accused her administration of creating a KCDC ‘propaganda unit’ in the communications department.

Cr K Gurunathan (Guru) who came second in the Mayoral race, winning  2200 more votes than Ms Rowan, says the former Mayor and Council chalked up ’an impressive list’ of achievements.

But he says it became a ‘don’t care’ council, pressing on without genuine consultation — and creating a ‘propaganda unit’ to push its policies.

‘Bureaucracy and rigid processes’

He says: ‘ In key controversial issues the council bureaucracy and rigid processes were used to achieve those ends.

‘Those processes include turning the ratepayer-funded council communications department into a council propaganda unit. The cost has been the alienation of significant sections of our communities.’

Cr Gurunathan, who was returned as a councilor for the Paraparaumu ward, offered his congratulations to new Mayor  Ross Church.

‘We have shared and highlighted similar issues during our campaign.

‘Prominent were the two common issues for a transparent and open council, and the need to reduce the power of the council bureaucracy.

‘Mr Church identified the latter as putting “people before process”. My campaign defined it as the need for “Public servants not bureaucrats”. Ross’s 7933 votes and my 6779 votes provide a massive political mandate for change,’ he says.

Cr Gurunathan adds: ‘Three other mayoral candidates Gavin Walsh (3675 votes), Jackie Elliot (1974 votes) and David Scott (1501 votes) had also highlighted similar themes in their campaign. All three are now district wide councillors.

Criticism of former administration

Cr Gurunathan says Ms Rowan’s campaigned heavily on an impressive list of council achievements.

‘But,’ he says,’ The political reality is that this can-do council had also become a don’t-care council that has pressed on without genuine consultation.

‘Jenny Rowan’s massive loss and the demise of at least two of her lieutenants show the public value their democratic rights.

‘The people have spoken and the new mayor and council have to take this message on board. The message should also be clear to the council bureaucracy.’












Ann is welcome to her view but surely because you are a Councillor doesn’t mean you must give total support to the council with all its bureaucratic faults. The last council chose to ignore the vox populi and many paid a democratic price. Surely it’s about consultation. Wasn’t the CEO pre-determination statement all about that? Not to have a closed mind on an issue that affects the community. Consult then make a decision. The last council failed in many instances to consult.

This week a two page newspaper spread is devoted to car parking around the community centre. Again what it doesn’t tell you is more pertinent. It appears that approx 70 car parking spaces will be allocated to staff and council vehicles in a new half million ratepayer funded car park. A careful watch should be kept as I suspect more council staff vehicles will use the car park as opposed to (non) council vehicles. There is also council staff parking behind the library.

If the Bureaucracy is not kept in check by Guru then what hope is there for the ordinary person that catches the daily commuter train to Wellington.

My my Guru – and this is your very own council! But then once a dissident always a dissident even when you trash yourself.