Kapiti’s Mayor Speaks Out

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

Mayor Church feels stroppy councillors reflect local community

By Alan Tristram

The Kapiti Coast District Mayor, Ross Church, says he accepts that the new council is deeply divided on some issues –but insists this ‘represents the local community.’

The new Mayor and former councillor  swept to victory over two-time Mayor Jenny Rowan last October.

However, the new-look Kapiti Coast Council has been divided at times, with three rebellious councillors – K Gurunathan (Guru), Jackie Elliott and David Scott — often at odds with the other seven councillors, the Mayor and even the CEO.

 This was marked recently when all three called for a KCDC debate on the Council’s prosecution of an elderly Otaki couple accused of illegally felling native trees. But they failed to get any support from the other seven  Councillors.

In an exclusive interview with KIN, Mayor Church says he isn’t too perturbed by the dissension because ‘the Council we’ve got is an accurate reflection of the community’

However, Mr Church says, he’s ‘not always comfortable’ with councillors’ attacks on various issues, ‘but they were elected and they reflect the community.’

“And,” he says,”we all get on pretty well.”

Criticism of KCDC staff

It’s a very different  picture when it comes to the KCDC staff, he says.

“Attacks on staff are off limits. I have been pretty strong on not allowing people to attacks staff.”

The Mayor said that when a member of the public mentioned staff by name at a Council meeting he made a stand to stop the attacks – ‘and the person concerned was happy about this.’

Councillors attacking staff are also a ‘no,no’ he says – ‘and I have spoken to councillors about it.’

“But sometimes these councillors still feel the need, as they see it, to be honest and open.”

And Mayor Church admits that ”I sometimes find some (remarks) unwarranted, unhealthy and unwelcome.’

Enjoys the job  

Mayor Church has told KIN that he really enjoys the job, but find the seven-day work roster can be demanding.
“I’ve been a hell of a lot busier than I thought I would be!” he says. He relaxes by taking ‘little  breaks,’ working on classic cars in his Paraparaumu business, and ‘jumping the car and going somewhere’ with his partner Vicki.

 So we ended this interview on a relaxed note – and confident that Mayor Ross Church is at the very least prepared to front up to the media and answer any questions that are tossed his way.

Yea, the three “rebellious” councilors are doing the job they said they would, not like some.
If one has a difference of opinion in a democracy is it correct to label them rebellious mister mayor ?
When you eggs do stupid stuff, all, the time, what do expect ? lets pick the most recent –
The beach kiosk !
I’m ready for a snap election ! or if not a rates revolt !
I’m sure I’m not the only one sick of being lied to and having my community divided and compromised.
The Staff have pretty much run the council for ever anyway, its the whole lot of you eggs, if its the staff Councillors should sort them, if its the Councillors the staff should sort them, In my opinion it all of you, no brains, no balls and no manners.