Sludgegate: "Neighbours from Hell!"
Sludgegate Update - Day 7 4:50pm, Wednesday, 29 November 2000
"Neighbours from Hell!"
Witnesses in the Sludgegate trial today described Auckland City Council as 'out of control' on Waiheke, and likened them to the TV programme 'Neighbours From Hell.'
They would know, because the witnesses themselves were former councillors.
Former Councillor Breed, who was Chair of the council's Planning Committee at the time the sludge decisions were made, gave evidence that Utilities Manager Mike McQuillan had falsified a report for council hiding his involvement in Waiheke's failing sewage situation. Breed said that in his opinion the sludge decision had seriously disadvantaged Chisholm who "had been wronged by Council," and when attempting to right some of those wrongs, he found that McQuillan, Paterson and other council officers had successfully painted Adrian Chisholm as simply a "troublemaker" who "should be ignored."
Peter Aldridge, a former Waiheke Community Board member, gave evidence about his "unprofessional" former colleagues - the very people who sat in judgement on Chisholm's Waiheke resort project, and who had approved the sludge dump on Chisholm's boundary. "Anti-development ringleader" Gordon Hodson, he said, displayed "considerable animosity" towards Adrian Chisholm, who Judy Voullaire had called "mad," and "an evil man" - Aldridge returned the compliment on Chisholm's behalf by calling her "the most unpleasant politician I had met in my eighteen years in local government." Gordon Hodson, said Aldridge, had told him it was "unnecessary" to follow legal procedures in setting up the sludge dump. Mr Aldridge said there was "considerable hostility" and "unbelievable aggression" displayed when he pointed out Adrian Chisholm had a resort project underway just over the fence from the sludge dump site. He said that despite this knowledge, and despite prior knowledge of Maori midden sites which eventually were uncovered by the earthworks, that his colleagues were unrepentant about proceeding with the sludge dump.
A resident from Waiheke gave evidence that Gordon Hodson had told him he intended to "stop anything Chisholm tries to do on this island." History proves he succeeded.
Chisholm's witnesses will continue to be heard throughout the rest of the week
In a further development today, Justice Morris rejected Chris La Hatte's appeal against the so-called 'privileged document' being brought into the trial. La Hatte is now considering other means to bring the documents contents into the trial.
ENDS For further information please contact: Peter Cresswell (025) 861 927 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For background information visit www.sludgegate.com