The Kāpiti ‘macron debate’ has taken a fresh turn recently with the disclosure that KCDC has not made an application to have the new name registered with the New Zealand Geographic Board which is the Government organisation authorised to alter place names in New Zealand.
Board secretary Wendy Shaw says, “At this point in time the Kāpiti Coast District Council has not submitted a proposal to the Board to alter the district name of Kāpiti to Kāpiti.”
Anti-macron campaigner Martin Warriner says KCDC Chief Executive Pat Dougherty, in an official information letter has confirmed that the legal name is “Kāpiti Coast District Council” without a macron.
Mr Warriner says profiles in the 2010 election pack show current Councillors and Mayor Jenny Rowan, who are standing for this election, all consider it to be the Kāpiti Coast and not the Kāpiti Coast.
Mr Warriner says “in 2009, Mr Dougherty arbitrarily changed the spelling of Kāpiti Coast District Council through an “operational decision”, without any consultation with the residents and ratepayers. The Mayor and Councillors are also aware that more than half the elected Council representatives were not notified of the decision until I informed them after reading about it in the local newspaper.”
Mr Warriner says what Mr Dougherty did (on behalf of Mayor Jenny Rowan) in 2009 was an illegal act and no meeting of the full Council can ratify this decision. “What he should have done, after consulting the wider community, was to submit a motion to Council proposing a name change for the District Council. Why he didn’t do this only he knows.
“It is now time (before the 09/10/2010 elections) for KCDC to publicly announce that Kāpiti Coast District Council is not spelt with a macron and to cease immediately from using it on their website, any correspondence and signage,” says Mr Warriner.