KCDC Phone Survey on Local Government Reform called Misleading

KCDC’s four question, 1500 household phone survey on Local Government Reform is misleading say’s Council Candidate Jackie Elliott, who was one of the first residents phoned.

“Alarm bells rang yesterday with the first question asking which of the two options, status quo or a Super City like Auckland would I prefer. These are not the correct two options for the region,” say’s Ms Elliott. Every other district in the region who have consulted their public have given the correct two options, a one tier or two tier system in consultation. For KCDC to imply that reforms will not happen is misleading, and KCDC were asked by other working party members not to include status quo as an option for this reason,” says Ms Elliott.

The third question, ‘Was I aware that neither a one tier or two tier system included Community Boards?,’ also disappointed me, as I have just sat on a joint Community Board working party to make our submission on the reforms. We have produced a positive document which outlines the importance of maintaining the current level of local community consultation just under a ‘new label’, says Ms Elliott, who has proposed that the group meet again to produce our their model for Community Advisory Committees for Local Government Commission to consider.

“We, the Kāpiti Community board members, know what we want to maintain, and are probably the best to help Government plan how to achieve this,” says Ms Elliott. “I feel it is irresponsible for Council to give up on our Community Boards so eagerly.”

Only 60 members of the public attended recent districtwide consultation meetings, so Council will be relying heavily on the results of the phone survey. KCDC CEO, Pat Dougherty, stated at the Paekākāariki meeting that he had no idea how Kāpiti residents felt about reform options. “I reminded him, that last August during KCDC’s own postal survey on Local Government Reform, 91% of respondents indicated that they wanted change.

While KCDC is to be commended for finally listening to the public and contracting a New Zealand based research company, Ms Elliott has today asked Council to explain exactly who wrote the wording for the questions and whether or not Council would ask for the survey to be stopped until a much less misleading set of questions is devised.