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Proposed DP Hearings Panel Complaints

A fascinating entry has appeared on the TCDC Website in regard to the above Panel.

The Chair, Mark Farnsworth, has posted a Special Committee's Chair's Memorandum regarding complaints of Conflict of Interest levelled against Sandra Goudie and Ian Munro.

It appears that initially a complaint may have been made against Ian Munro, alleging that he has in some manner demonstrated concern for the preservation of environmental standards that affects his ability to execise independent judgement on the Committee - I wonder where that came from?

The upshot has been a counter charge of inherent bias levelled against Sandra Goudie as the result of many statements she has made in the past deploring the activities of activists who she perceives to be interfering with private property rights, and pushing a landscape and environmental agenda that is inimical the the interests of her many followers, or something similar. She even made an appearance last year at a TCDC Council Meeting to implore the Council to withdraw its funding of Waikato environmental protection agencies. I sat in the gallery at the time, fascinated at the level of vitriol heaped on those organisations.

I am not aware of the basis of the Munro complaint, though Goudie's presence on the DP Review Committee alongside Munro probably gave her an insight into Ian's thinking, and may provide an indication as to where it has originated, though it may well have been laid by someone else.

The complaint against Goudie appears to be based specifically on an article that appeared in the New Zealand Farmers Weekly on 30 July 2012 written by Ms Goudie.

It would appear that any reasonable interpretation of the statements made by Ms Goudie in this article would indicate a serious inability on her part to claim to be sufficiently unbiased to be able to sit on the DP Hearings Panel. Her membership must surely be called into question, and the danger of her being allowed to continue with the likelihood of post hearing appeals carefully considered by our Council. It is not too late for changes to be made, Mark Farnsworth is only prepared to point out the danger of a perceived conflict of interest, and that "ultimately it is the absolute and sole right of the appointing authority to appoint or remove panel members."

Of course, under current conditions, this will almost certainly devolve to Leach - he supported her, and he will need to move to remove her - it is highly unlikely that any other member has the cojones to make such a move. I would imagine that this is now being closely considered by Leach - if he has any concept of the consequences of allowing her to continue with the almost certain subsequent intervention of the Judicial Review process.

I am sure that the NZ Farmer article (and several others that have been brought to my attention) will receive a much wider audience in the future.




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Reader Comments (4)

As a submitter to the District Plan, I am extremely concerned at the turn these events have taken as the judicial process that the District Plan is now involved in is being subverted by petty, small town politics a'la petty small-time Sadra Goudie.

Why can't people see through this woman?

Is there a better example of Council dysfunction than her take-no-prisoners right-wing blather that divides everyone into those that like her for being slightly rabid and those that can't stand her ?

And given your comments about the current malaise within Council staff, the only thing saving Goudie and the current Council is their long established policy of keeping secret all their real decision making at 'behind closed doors' meetings while rubber stamping those decisions at Council meetings!

I hear even the press doesn't bother turning up to these meetings anymore as NOTHING HAPPENS at them that is not preordained and manufactured for public consumption.

From the pulpit indeed.

May 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterconcerned submitter

After a relatively lacklustre career as an MP, Sandra Goudie appears to have found her voice, and vocation, pointing out the various pressure groups who have their snout in the trough, and promote minority opinions. What she says both now and previously, is all true. Council, Regional Council, and Government Departments have been successfully infiltrated by green leaning, do gooder, politically correct, bureaucrats, who have turned regulation costs and delay into a fine art. Admittedly when you have your own snout actively engaged your peripheral vision can get clouded, but there is no doubt Goudie has found her own path to Damascus. Her opinion piece says what she believes to be true, and she's not wrong. No where in this article, or in her previous statements has she indicated a closed mind on District Plan matters, and she is experienced enough not to get into a position where she may be legally challenged. Having strong opinions about the exercise of bureaucratic process is not a fault, it's just a pity it has taken Goudie so long to realise what people elected her for. Very small, but effective, pressure groups, aided in no small part by staff with their own agendas, have brought TCDC to where it is, which is not far from statutory management. Goudie is one of just three voices who seem to have a vision for the future. In her case recently found, but better late then never.

May 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Elephant

Come on now Mr Elephant - calling a group of submitters to the proposed District Plan a bunch of parasites before sitting down to hear their case is hardly likely to meet the test of providing judicial fairness!

May 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertusky

So now is it the fault of the rate-payers and staff that the Council finds itself in a difficult position - well that is a novel opinion.
Thank goodness that Sandra Goudie is only one of three who have a vision for the future.
Let us see what the 'elephant in the room' is during the hearings.....

May 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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