Roger Childs says Councillor Prvanov’s proposed motion to suspend the Waikanae Watch co-editor Geoffrey Churchman from the Waikanae Community Board (WCB) cannot be justified.
Some KCDC councillors took exception to a satirical fantasy on Waikanae Watch, published on 26 July, and then to a follow up article on 1 August entitled “Ongoing Mayoral bullying – it has to stop”.
The satire, which was not written by Churchman, was quickly taken down.
It was related to the support of all five women councillors to the controversial Gateway to Kapiti proposal, but was a piece of creative writing not a serious article.
Most politicians accept that they are fair game for satirists, critics and cartoonists – it goes with the territory. Most roll with the literary and visual punches, but in this case some councillors didn’t appreciate the piece.
The response to the satire was three highly offensive emails from Councillors to Mr Churchman, as well as a derogatory phone message from the Mayor.
This inflammatory reaction could not be justified, especially as he had not written the piece which had offended some.
Not surprisingly, Churchman subsequently wrote a follow-up article about mayoral bullying which Cr Pvanov claimed made further accusations against a number of elected members.
(Readers needed to judge for themselves. See https://waikanaewatch.org/2020/08/01/ongoing-mayoral-bullying/)
Complaint unrelated to the Community Board
Crucially, there is absolutely nothing in the motion that has anything to do with Churchman’s duties and role as an elected member. Retired lawyer Christopher Ruthe
CEO Wayne Maxwell has told councillors that there is no basis for taking action against Churchman for a satirical item which he did not write.