Kāpiti threat to democracy questioned

Following revelations of the Horowhenua Council chief executive filtering and blocking emails, including those of the Mayor and councillors, local Kāpiti politicians are seeking reassurance the same anti-democratic activity is not happening here.

Guy Burns (Deputy Chair) and Bernie Randall of the Raumati Paraparaumu Community Board are concerned that Kāpiti Coast District Council may be following the slippery slope taken by Horowhenua District Council by filtering and blocking emails sent by citizens.

“We have asked KCDC Chief Executive Pat Dougherty for an assurance that his Council are not filtering, screening, blocking or treating differently any emails sent to staff, councillors or Community Board members.

“We believe that Mayor K Gurunathan has also asked for an assurance a week ago.

“There has been no response and frankly, the silence is deafening. We would have expected an immediate reply and confirmation that our democratic system of open and transparent communication to staff and elected members is not compromised by censorship, filtering and managerial micro-management.

“We urge Mr Dougherty to speedily reply and state whether communication to Council is being monitored and filtered,” say Mr Burns and Randall in a joint statement.

KCDC’s Chief Information Officer Ewen Church, responded to KCNews the following;

“The Kāpiti Coast District Council does not screen, filter or block any emails sent to staff, councillors or community board members unless they specifically make a request to a group manager or the Chief Executive to do so.”