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District Plan Secrecy Backfires

An attempt to keep secret the deliberations on the District Plan have been shot to pieces as the result of an extremely indiscreet remark by Councillor McLean at a meeting of the Mercury Bay Community Board on 25 May.

On 6 April 2026, Council made decisions in Public Excluded on Submissions to the Proposed District Plan and Variation 1 - Natural Character. This was an extremely contentious issue on which a number of organisations had made impassioned submissions.

The Minutes of the Public Excluded section of the Meeting remained secret in the Minutes of that Meeting that were adopted on 18 May. We would had no idea as to the outcome of the 6 April Meeting had it not been for the fact that Clr McLean let slip at the 26 May Meeting of the MBCB that:

"He was disappointed that three Councillors voted against four years work."

We would never had known that there had been a 'split vote' on this matter had Cls McLean's remarks not been recorded in the MBCB Minutes for that meeting. For the long serving and experienced councillor to have made such a booboo is quite remarkable.

It means, now that it has been released in this manner, that submitters will be entitled to seek information on precisely who voted for and against the motion - very embarrassing I would imagine, and quite possibly grounds for a Code of Conduct action to be taken against Clr McLean for releasing confidential information  in contravention of Standing Order.

This is by no means a minor matter - his action could well prove extremely costly to Council were appellants to seek full disclosure of the reasons that undeerlay their decision. This is all perfectly in keeping with the arrogance displayed regularly by the Leach cohort on the Council.

It is pure conjecture on my part, but I would suggest those who voted against would have been Clrs Goudie, Brljevich and Connors. Such conjecture is the natural corollary of secrecy in these matters.

At least one submitter - Federated Farmers has appealed to the Environment Court against the Plan as it stands, and I will will deal with the substance of its appeal in a subsequent post.This appeal will will almost certainly drag out the adoption of the Plan by several months. I hope that the commissioners have dotted their 'I's,' and crossed their 'T's.'

And I trust thatClr McLean has a satisfactory explanation for when next he attends Council.    




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Reader Comments (1)

It sounds like this Council has become seriously dysfunctional - split Council decisions on something as important and legally vulnerable as the District Plan and the leaking of information that exacerbates that (with potential cost to ratepayers) - speaks volumes of a hopeless situation that is beyond repair.

I seem to remember when Leach and his crew were first elected, that they were going to 'end dysfunction' and become a 'can do' Council.

Yeah right.

Get rid of this lot completely, who are mostly clapped out National Party hacks who have been around the block one time two many (Mclean, Goudie, Wells, Bartley and French) and put in some new blood including some experience from the previous Council whose problems where not always endemic to the personalities of Councillors, but to the fact that they were handed another 'dud Mayor' from those good old National Party activists.

Time to move on

June 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTime to move on

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