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Sludgegate Day 3: “All I Want Is The Truth!”

In 1970, John Lennon venomously sang: “All I Want is The Truth!” In court today Adrian Chisholm echoed those very words, to which Auckland City Councillor’s barrister replied: “There’s more truth than you know!”

He’s probably right, as the rest of the day saw Adrian Chisholm in the witness box outlining the previous three years of council duplicity in this case, but not before Council’s counsel opposed much of Chisholm’s evidence as irrelevant, and a witness called by Chisholm’s team was barred from being heard. Further, when challenged to produce an important Delegations Register, Council claimed “we don’t have it – it doesn’t exist!” It did, and Justice Chambers ordered it be produced later in the afternoon.

A large part of the interminable wrangling over admissibility of evidence is due to the mixed nature of Chisholm’s legal teams briefs, pleadings, and statements – documents which his team of untrained and volunteer supporters prepared for the case, and which his new barrister Chris LaHatte admitted would have been better prepared if Chisholm’s prior “representation by Russell McVeagh had not been sabotaged by [Council’s representatives].”

Indeed, Justice Chambers wryly observed: “We may need to call evidence from Russell McVeagh as to why they have left him in this position.”

Once on the stand, Adrian Chisholm began to tell the court of his proposed eco-resort on Waiheke Island, and how Council’s Sludgegate decision killed it. Plans were produced showing a project of rambling mud-brick villas and tourist lodges set amidst the rich smells and bucolic grandeur of grape vines, lavender, olive trees, and regenerated native bush. These were set on a natural ampitheatre overlooking a protected wetlands, a recreation reserve, and a golf course.

The resort was to be an ampitheatre, with the wetlands as its stage; Council undertook to instead make that stage a dump for raw sewage – with a very different kind of rich smell. Council’s sludge decision was “fatal” to his project, the court heard.

Chisholm will continue on the stand tomorrow, with cross examination expected to begin in the afternoon. [His brief will shortly be on the website at www.sludgegate.com] Chisholm’s team expects to get new amended pleadings filed tomorrow morning. At 5pm, an application to admit the so-called ‘privileged’ document will be heard by Master Faire in chambers.


For further information please contact: Peter Cresswell Sludgegate Media Coordinator (025) 861 927 e-mail: organon@ihug.co.nz

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