A proposal to seek only the bare minimum of public feedback required by law on Kāpiti’s 2019/20 Annual Plan rather than undertaking a full and formal public consultation highlights the need for a fresh community-led approach at Kāpiti Coast District Council, says mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton.
“With Kāpiti Coast District Council coming in for criticism in the past year with their ridiculous idea to borrow $30 million to gamble on the sharemarket, the Waikanae Library toxic mould debacle, and the attempt to sell Council assets by stealth, more scrutiny and public consultation on the 2019/20 Annual Plan should be the order of the day,” says Mr Compton.
He says while the proposal that went to Council last week to not carry out a full consultation may be legally compliant with the Local Government Act, when faced with a similar situation on the second year of the previous Long Term Plan in 2016, Kāpiti Coast District Council opted to for a consultation process to ensure the community’s concerns were properly addressed.
“When Council is making decisions on where nearly $80 million is spent each year, and there’s significant issues facing Kāpiti such as housing and rental affordability and how to deal with rapid population growth in coming years, it seems like a reasonable expectation that the Council would be seeking to engage and consult the community it serves as much as possible instead of trying to do the bare minimum required,” says Mr Compton.
“It’s disappointing that the current recommendation to Council for a truncated ‘feedback’ process on the Annual Plan seems to put the community’s views as an afterthought. A genuinely community focused Council would welcome proper consultation and be actively looking for ways to expand and improve the ways it consults with the people it’s there to represent and serve.”