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Wednesday
Aug172016

Council Today!

Today's Council was only interesting in respect of the matters already raised below.

Firstly, there was a minor squabble over the membership of the Appeals Review Committee - should it be names or positions - resolved in favour of positions after intervention by S. Goudie.

It was only interesting because P French tried to obfuscate by quoting the letter from the Environment Court regarding the manner in which the 72 Appeals (40 had been expected) should be dealt with in the following manner:

"I consider that the Appeals can be broken down into three - those agreed, those where negotiation is required, and finally those that will require the intervention of the Court."

 Bless him - he sounded like he had thought this up all by himself.

Then the Indoor Sports Arena was dealt with in five seconds - no dissent from the motion, which just shows a total lack of understanding, or that they are sick and tired of it. Regardless, our commitment as rate-payers steadily increases.

Then came the WRC Hauraki Gulf Forum Paper, and that was never going to pass without dissent, but it came too late for Leach to bully dissenter S Goudie out of it, when she held fire until the actual motion was put. She had too many guns for P. French whose explanation wobbled and staggered to the usual:

"Why didn't you raise this with me before the meeting?"

He simply does not get it!

What the Minutes of the 20 June Gulf Forum meeting actually state in addition to the matters contained in the Report from the WRC tabled today, and reported in my earlier post was:

vii. that any reform of the governance arrangements for the Forum should include provision for the Forum to have more statutory authority and a stronger and more direct role in terms of statutory decision-making over the Hauraki Gulf.

ix. that, as an interim step, the Forum creates a smaller ‘core group’ of 12 members to drive more focused and strategic governance for the Forum, and at the same time advance a case for legislative amendment to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000; and

x. that the chief executives of the local authorities and relevant ministries/departments work together to implement these recommendations immediately following the 2016 triennial local authority elections. (My underline)

c) constituent parties respond to the recommendations from the ‘Hauraki Gulf Forum - Governance review and recommendations’ report at the next meeting of the Hauraki Gulf Forum, following consultation with their respective bodies.

Sandra asked P French whether he had read these Minutes, because they provided an entirely different interpretation regarding when the response of the constituent members was required - i.e. "The next meeting of the Forum" (in September) - not following the Election as implied in the WRC Report.  

P. French replied that he had, but that was clearly not the case, and there was a moment of tension in the room as members contemplated their navels over this piece of information - McLean in particular:

"I said twenty years ago that this would be what would happen."

S. Goudie at this point had them by the short and curlies - she had read the wording of the actual motion from the Forum website that clearly indicates the need for the constituent existing members to report back the reaction of their respective bodies before the September meeting of the Forum - apparently in conflict with the stated intent to leave the matter "on the table" until after the Elections.

S. Goudie criticised P. French for not providing a clear explanation to members, and suggested that the Report as it stood was faulty. There was actually no report from Council - simply the WRC Council Paper on the subject, provided with the intent of:

"Providing Council (WRC) with an update on the work that the Hauraki Gulf Forum has been undertaking in regard to more effective governance." Yeah, right!

Our staff member responsible - Peter Wishart could not be found to throw any light on the situation. That was a pity in the absence of any TCDC Report on the matter.

French was clearly chagrined at this turn of events, but if he thought this report was going to sail through, he clearly should have had another think coming. It contains the seeds of a major blow-up between the constituent groups - particularly Auckland, being reduced as it is in the proposal from seven to a single representative while providing most of the funding, and likewise WRC.

This will surely occur once everyone gets their head around what is being proposed. In the meantime, S. Goudie has 'put a stake in the ground,' and sure as God made little apples, you will be hearing a great deal more about this proposal before the Election is over.

Finally, here is the Recommendation contained the end of the WRC Paper:

"We recommend that, as an interim step, the Forum creates a smaller 'core group' of 12 members to drive more focused and strategic governance for the Forum, and at the same time advances a case for legislative amendment to the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Act 2000.

We also recommend that the chief executives of the local authorities and relevant ministries/departments work together to implement these recommendations immediately following the 2016 triennial local authority elections." (My underline!)

No evidence of any delay for considered contemplation of the ramifications there!

Leach had had enough, and pushed the motion through over S. Goudie's dissent, and P. French's obvious embarrassment in the following terms:

Resolved                                                           

That the Thames-Coromandel District Council:

1.         Receives the “Hauraki Gulf Forum Governance Review update” report (Doc # 8875095 dated 03 August 2016).

2.         Confirms for 'Hauraki Gulf Forum Governance review and recommendations' report (attachment to the update report) to lie on the table and requests the incoming Council to form a view on the governance recommendation for the Hauraki Gulf Forum.

Moved/seconded by: French/Leach

Against  Councillor Goudie due to:

  • lack of oversight by the appointed representative,
  • lack of information available on the order paper and
  • lack of opportunity to give feedback at the September Hauraki Gulf Forum meeting

Staff should also take some responsibility for this state of affairs - particularly CEO Wiliams and Peter Wishart inasmuch it was never made clear that this was simply a WRC interpretation of the HGF minutes that was being debated, or rather, dumped on our Council. It was entirely inappropriate that this WRC Paper be treated as a TCDC Council Paper with no explanation or reasons provided for acceptance of the quite radical proposals contained therein.

And note that there is not one mention in all of this of any form of public consultation. Did they really believe that they would slide this coup proposal through over an election seaon? That is particularly naive, and the signs of staff manipulation are particularly worrying - by no means the first time for  WRC.  

A separate Paper should have been presented together with the full HGF Minutes for 20 June - they are on the HGF website after all! This constituted a series of dropped balls reminiscent of the first Wales Test match.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (2)

It is concerning that a Mayoral candidate as Mr French proposes to have such a casual approach & commitment to the his present position. To simply not turn up to such a meeting , not read the agenda and not read the minutes makes one wonder if he is too tired to engage in Council work.

August 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterP Feran

Best described as the Deputy Mayoy being asleep at the wheel with his two passengers, Mayor and CEO in a deep slumber in the rear passenger seat.
Goudie one Deputy Mayor nil

August 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPolitico

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