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Extraordinary Meeting

Today’s Extraordinary Council Meeting which was called principally to deal with the Draft Freedom Camping Bylaw Deliberation Report (Minutes only)  It is unfortunate that staff were unable to post the resulting Recommendations that went to Council today, and which (along with everything else on today's agenda!) was adopted and passed with next to minimal discussion.

For the information of readers, today's meeting was set for 1.30pm, no indication anywhere on the Website of the change from the usual 9am. There was a Citizenship Ceremony at 9am, followed by a long workshop which went for the remaining of the morning.

This was clearly designed to get all the controversial items - Freedom Camping, Hauraki Rail Trail, 'Great Walks,' Maori Representation and Kopu Bridge off the table, and avoid any divisive discussion in the public arena. This is of course a denial of the democratic right of every ratepayer to know exactly where their councillors stand on controversial matters.

Body language indicated that dirty linen may have been exposed during the Workshop, but the air was relatively clear by time they had all imbibed a good lunch as was no doubt the unstated intention!

The only slip-up came when Leach aggressively attacked Strat Peters (he does not appear to enjoy listening to Strat at any time) over the failure of the Thames Community Board to offer up any funding for the Kopu/Kaiaua Extension to the Rail Trail.

Strat was speechless, but Peter French chimed in in a thoroughly irritated manner at the suggestion that the TCB had any such obligation - the Cycle Trail, the Great Walks and the Coromandel Harbour development all comprising Leach's Grand Economic Development Projects - all funded on a District basis. There was much head wagging (and a gasp from Cr Connors!) in support of French around the table, and Leach was forced into an ignominious back-down - you don't see that very often.   

It was a display of straight out bullying by Leach on Peters, and I must say that I did enjoy seeing him get his comeuppance. French went up in my estimation, but he along with everyone else around the table will have to wear Leach's Projects. Remember that they all went along with them, and now that all are looking decidedly shaky, if not downright failures in waiting, the chicken roosting will no doubt be delayed as long as possible.

So I have nothing to offer in regard the the other items on the agenda that I outlined in the previous post other than: "Move", "Second" and "Passed" - all very neat and tidy. Day looked suitably embarrassed as he presented the Paper on the Rail Trail, but he is quite accomplished at avoiding taking any responsibility for balls-ups' - it is all the fault of HDC you understand. Forget Kopu/Kaiaua - it just ain't going to happen. 

Leach took the opportunity to add Sandra Goudie's nomination to Hauraki Rail Trust to the motion accepting the Report - something someone obviously forgot to do at the previous meeting. Ms Goudie has it all in front of her, and the HDC people will certainly learn all about her modus operandi!

Ms Goudie has been absent from recent meetings - begins to look a little like adopting the absentee mantle of her predecessor, the unlamented Cr Hoadley.


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