Hazard Lines Debacle

GuruCouncil has wasted $1.5million…and counting, says Councillor Gurunathan

By Alan Tristram

Kapiti Coast Councillor K Gurunathan (Guru) says the KCDC has lost at least $1.5million in costs over its abandoned coastal hazards policy (see story below).

But, he says, the decision to drop the plan to put new hazard lines on Land Information Memos (LIM’s) marks the first council change of direction following the voter’s clear message in the recent  elections.

CRU victory

Cr Gurunathan says: “While council is to be congratulated ,the real victors have been those affected residents who formed the Coastal Ratepayers United (CRU).

“The formidable combination of intellectual firepower backed by financial resources has been able to meet the council’s own ratepayer-funded machine.

“I estimate the final cost to ratepayers to be around the $1.5m and the cost to the impacted property owners is unknown.”

The saddest thing

And Guru adds that the saddest thing is that the battle has been an unnecessarily bitter one.

“With Kapiti’s current Councillors and staff signalling a commitment to reining in rates and balancing the books, we have no political choice but to shut down areas where council was unnecessarily haemorrhaging financial resources,” he says.

“Continued conflict with CRU would have meant further losses.  I’m glad common sense has finally prevailed.

Cr Guru also warns of possible further costs.

“But I fear that property owners who have already suffered losses through the imposition of coastal hazard lines may be exploring their options for compensation.”

He adds:”Given the High Court has yet to give its verdict on the judicial review initiated by Mike Weir there is still this risk of further legal action against council.”