At today’s Kāpiti Council meeting the proposal to institute an Independent Organisational Review was passed by 7 votes to 2, with 1 abstention.
While there has been general agreement for the need to have a review, there has also been a great deal of controversy about the timing of it.
Waikanae Ward Councillor Michael Scott voted against the proposal to appoint external consultants who will start the process in the next few days.
“I think it is an attempt to bind the new Council and I am uncomfortable with that, given there will be a new council in just two days,” says Cr Scott.
Cr Scott says it should be up to the new Council to make such an important decision which they will be responsible for and that could happen in just a few weeks and it would be done properly.
Cr Fiona Vining agreed, saying it was not appropriate to decide on this just two days before the election.
Crs Scott and Vining also voted against the proposals to cut funding from allocated budgets to pay the estimated $250,000 cost of the review.
Cr Scott says cutting money allocated in the budget is moving away from the core values of Council.
“We went to our community during our Long Term Plan and Annual Plan processes and we made it clear we would stick to the budget and this goes against our agreement with the community.”
One particularly contentious item was the cutting of $30,000 from the coastal adaptation budget. Again Cr Scott spoke against this cut saying Council gave an undertaking to the Environment Court and this cut breaches that and exposes Council to the risk of significant costs. The Mayor and Cr Cootes who moved the recommendations said they had staff assurances that the risk was minimal.
Also cut were two Youth projects to the tune of $32,000, a planning budget ($20,000) and $60,000 which had been allocated for stormwater work related to the Mackays to Peka Peka road works.