Kandi O’Neil, standing for the Paraparaumu Community Board, says her policy on the proposed Kāpiti Island Gateway is to get it stopped.
“It was mainly because of the gateway I become interested in local politics. I found the council’s lack of consultation with the community it affected was insulting and not the way a council should be run.”
Ms O’Neil says even after the public came forward and delivered a petition clearly stating how they felt, especially the residents that were affected, they were totally ignored.
“For the first time in my life I watched a council meeting online and to be honest I was horrified how some of the community putting forward their submissions objecting to it were treated. It was absolutely rude and disrespectful. I admire the councillors that did listen and decided not to vote for the Gateway.
“The cost blow outs have been underestimated in my opinion and I think this will get even bigger. There is no resource consent and this is going to be a huge burden on the rate payers, not to mention the changes it will make to the landscape of the beaches. People are hurting and struggling to make ends meet, so how the council can justify this needless spending astonishes me.
Ms O’Neil says Karl Webber who is also running for the Paraparaumu Community board and who will be a huge asset is Mana Whenua from the three local iwi and whose whanau are Haukainga at Paraparaumu Beach and the Island were not adequately consulted and do not agree with the Gateway and this should have stopped the gateway immediately.
“Also another one of the main affected parties, Glen Cooper, was ignored and not listened to and to be honest not treated very well, so much so he is running for council himself to make a difference to stop the waste of rate payers’ money, and personally I believe he will be an honest transparent and a great councillor as he will listen to what the ratepayers want and need – after all isn’t this what council is about.
“As I am running for Paraparaumu community board I also feel the community should have a greater say and should be allowed to speak at the meetings and have surveys posted on social media platforms so they can have their say, and have their ideas heard and input into how their money is being spent.
“While I know you can’t please everyone and do everything, we are all here to represent the community. While I can’t make any promises to anyone that their ideas will be implemented I can promise to listen and put their ideas out to the community. So, in my opinion, I think the Gateway needs to be stopped immediately and no more money spent on it. I am not against the gateway at a later stage with a better design and a better location, but it needs the community who it actually affects to be consulted, and it doesn’t need so much money spent on it, Kāpiti can’t afford it, so let’s concentrate on the core services, listen to the community, after all that is who the council is supposed to represent.”