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Officials Keep Local Board at Bay

Media Release

3 May 2011

Dr. Grant Gillon, Member Kaipatiki Board

Officials Keep Local Board at Bay

“I am appalled that Council officials seem prepared to determine what the Local Boards can or cannot even discuss at meetings" Kaipatiki Local Board elected member Dr. Grant Gillon said today.

A Notice of Motion was submitted (within the required time) calling on the Kaipatiki Board to discuss the serious issues surrounding the second Waitemata Harbour crossing.

" I received an email from the 'Relationship Manager' advising me that the notice of motion had been refused because the "matter of the additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing has already been considered by the Transport committee of Auckland Council on 5 April and is subject to further reporting".

I was advised that " Standing order 3.11.2 applies."

This is patently Rubbish!

Standing order 3.11.2 focuses on a report from a "Committee to the meeting concerned." Not a report to another (and in this case the Transport committee of Auckland Council).

The Kaipatiki Local Board can provide feedback to the Committee and its important that we do so and not just be a rubber stamp for the views of officials.

Just last Monday night, a large meeting was held in the Northcote community. Speakers stressed the importance of dealing with the issue of a further crossing, a tunnel and the impact on Northcote residents in particular.

We need to assess our communities' views through the Board process and feed into the Council's process.

In addition, the Notice of Motion would have placed on Board records the previous reports and motions of the North Shore City Council which will help inform and better serve the committee members.

"It is ridiculous to suggest that we can't discuss such an important issue or even place it on the agenda,” said Dr. Gillon.

This Kaipatiki Local Board has a statement supporting the harbour crossing in its plan but has no mention of a tunnel including any rail component or preferred point of access. The Board needs to have a proper debate and so be able to better reflect and advocate for our residents' views.

This is not the first time the Board's remits and motions have been ignored by Council departments and CCOs over the months since the election.

At least one other Notice of Motion has been refused on spurious grounds.

Other Boards' members have also publicly expressed concern about the lack of meaningful delegations, constrained discussions, shallow reporting and tight controls over Boards' actions.
Many attempts to gain information on roading, property, parks and other issues have been thwarted by anonymous officials.

The most distressing issue is the actual and potential loss of hard fought for projects from the Kaipatki Board area through delaying tactics of both politicians and bureaucrats. The loss of the Highbury civic square is a good example.

There appears to be an attempt to homogenise all the Boards yet boards are elected to represent diverse communities. It raises the question of why even have this layer of 21 different Boards if all are to act in the same way?

© Scoop Media

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