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Tell Parliament says Mayor

August 23, 2010

Tell Parliament says Mayor

Mayor Jenny Rowan said she needed to make two things very clear on the issue of the fencing of ponds.

“We (Council) have not ‘backed down’ on the issue of fencing ponds, as the Dominion Post wrongly claimed on page one today,

“We have only sent the one letter to the owners of 122 urban properties, and not further letters, as claimed by the Dominion Post.

“In our one and only letter, we said if a pond is associated with a house, then it must be fenced even if there is no intention to use it for wading or paddling. This is based on the advice we have received from two leading New Zealand law companies.

“We did not write the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, Parliament did. If changes are required to the Act, then Parliament needs to do that.

“In the letter to residents we made it very clear that Council had an obligation to inform residents of their responsibilities under the Act. We also made it very clear that we will not be following up on this letter until the Act has been reviewed and we know the outcome.

“That review was supposed to have taken place this year. We have been told that review is more likely in 2012.

“The Act makes clear that every territorial authority is required to take all reasonable steps to ensure the Act is complied with. Given we had two legal opinions both saying the same thing, we had to act. Doing nothing, even though a review is pending, was not an option.”

Mayor Rowan said she shared the frustration felt by some residents but they were venting their feelings at the wrong body. “Residents need to raise this issue with their MPs so they are aware of local sentiment. Council is already very aware.”

© Scoop Media

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