Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Former Foxton Board chair apologises to seawall opponents

Former Foxton Board chair apologises to seawall opponents in defamation settlement


Former Chair of the Foxton Community Board, Basil Vertongen, has apologised to Christina and George Paton in a settlement of their defamation case against him.

At the official opening of the Foxton Beach seawall in 2009, Mr Vertongen burned a newspaper photograph of the Patons and accused them and other seawall objectors of causing delays and $200,000 in increased costs to ratepayers. He later repeated these claims in the media.

The Patons were very distressed to learn of these actions, which they believed were deeply misleading and unfair as well as an attack on the democratic rights of people to participate in decision-making. They called on Mr Vertongen to retract and apologise for this actions, but he initially refused.

In their defamation claim, the Patons argued that they were not responsible for any increased costs or delays. They noted that the Department of Conservation had also opposed the seawall consent applications. The district and regional councils refused consent because the application provided too little evidence of how adverse effects on the environment would be dealt with. Following court-assisted mediation, all the parties agreed that the seawall could go ahead, but only with conditions attached. Mr Vertongen accepted all of this, but denied that he had defamed the Patons.

Mr Vertongen has now provided an apology to the Patons and the defamation claim has been settled.

Under the settlement, the wording of the apology and the other terms are confidential.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news