Kāpiti’s Uruhi Gateway Safe After Review Challenge Falls 2 Votes Short

An attempt to review Kāpiti’s controversial Te Urihi gateway project has failed by two votes, reports Jeremy Smith,

Jeremy Smith, KIN’s political editor

He says Kāpiti councillors voted 6-4 against the review in the latest Ciouncil meeting. 

As part of his intensive coverage, Jeremy reports the four councillors supporting the review had signed the notice of motion which led to the debate.

Gwyn Compton, Martin Halliday, Jocelyn Prvanov and Bernie Randall had voted against the proposal after an all-day council meeting earlier this year.

Jackie Elliott’s name missing

One councillor’s name is missing from the voting list: Jackie Elliott attended the meeting, noted that the gateway project had “substantial problems” during the debate, but left the room before the vote was taken. 

KIN understands Elliott has passed on her concerns about the project to other councillors.

Councillor Jackie Elliott

Compton noted a potential litigation risk with Te Uruhi and said the Kāpiti council would not be compromised by a pause to take a breath. He referred to the letter he and the other three councillors wrote to the Auditor-General in March under the Protected Disclosures Act.

This act, sometimes called the Whistleblowers Act, gives protection to state-level employees who want to raise issues outside the usual chain of command.

Compton said “we owe it to our community to pause and take a breath.” He said he understood RMA lawyers were involved and the council should not be seen as “marking its own homework.”

McCann unmoved

In reply, Rob McCann said he could not see any new information to change direction. He said he was confident” this is not the smoking gun people have been looking for in the X-files or anywhere else.”

He described the Te Urihi project as not just a business case but a consideration of what’s good for the community.

Martin Halliday said he was concerned about the timeframes involved  (April 22) and the consents- and the council’s reputation.

Jocelyn Prvanov said she supported the motion because of the lack of good updates of the project.

But Janet Holborow, referring to 14 years’ experience around the council table, said there was nothing wrong with the progress of the project and it would tarnish the council’s reputation if they “second-guessed it.”

Deputy Mayor Janet Holborough — and ’14 years’ council experience

I am surprised by Jackie Elliot’s decision to abstain from voting. She says that the reason she didn’t vote is that she proposed an amendment to the motion and this was rejected . Also, she expected her amendment to be included in the Kapiti Independent News article. Wondering why it wasn’t?

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