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Council Chickens Come Home To Roost!

The chickens have finally come home to roost with Denis Tegg and the Thames Coromandel Climate Action Group serving papers earlier this week on Council hauling them into the High Court for a determination as to the legality of the decision making process adopted in  regard to the LGA Climate Declaration.

And not before time!

Remember, this was the Local Government Association drafted Declaration - not the more recent Climate Emergency document that several councils, including Auckland, have also signed. That more strongly worded document has not even made it to the agenda of our Council where disdain towards climate change is palpable, if not antagonistic.

The whole process adopted at the meeting on 2 April when the LGA Declaration was discussed was 'Mickey Mouse' to say the least. Our Mayor, who has appeared 'fire-proof' to date, adopted the highly unusual, if not ultra vires course of presenting her own paper on the subject matter to the total exclusion of staff advice, which if I am not mistaken would have presented an opposite, or neutral viewpoint. 

In fifteen years of membership, and covering Council activities, I have never seen a paper presented in this manner. The drafting of the paper was appalling to say the least, particularly in the manner in which it avoided the issue at hand, while barely disguising her prejudicial attitude towards the recognition of the causes of climate change.

Her views appears to follow those generally considered to those of 'deniers,' slanted towards refusal to recognise human involvement in climate change; the argument proposed being being that it is taking place as a 'natural cycle of events.' In her 'paper,' Sandra users the totally discredited and spurious arguments surrounding the likely 'legal commitment'  associated with signing the Declaration - something no other of the 66 signatories considered a risk.

The attitude of the five other councillors who sheepishly followed her lead (McLean, Fox, Bartley, Brljevich and Walker) simply reflected her views, or were expressed as a far more fundamental rejection of the basic tenets behind climate change. I suspect that the in addition, the antediluvian attitudes  of these councillors were offended by being lectured by children in Public Forum.

One has to admire the persistence of Denis in particular in following through in order to obtain the necessary legal advice that almost certainly would not have encouraged High Court action without a relatively high confidence in the success of any action. His Press Release thoroughly demolished  Sandra's Council Paper, and I believe it incumbent on all who have been offended by the manner in which this matter has been handled by our Mayor and Council to contribute as much as possible to help fund it. At this point, I suspect that Denis is carrying a substantial proportion of the financial risk associated with this action.

I find it difficult to understand just how our Council can defend itself when the decision was taken devoid of any staff input into the process. It occurs to me that an conjoined action against the Mayor and her supporting group of councillors may be appropriate in the circumstances - this may well be an element of the planned action.

In the meantime, the widest possible publicity is desirable, because Denis tells me that it may not get on the High Court docket before the New Year - well after the election. That in itself should not prevent the widest possible interrogation of candidates on the matter.  


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Reader Comments (5)

No doubt the action being taken by Dennis and the Climate Action Group - in the best interests of the bulk of the community - could/will involve considerable direct cost to the group of concerned citizens/ratepayers who have considered that Court action is necessary. And then we, the bulk of the community, will be funding the Council's defence of the Court action! No doubt the Council will not spare its expense - by engaging high profile legal counsel for its defence. When some 66 - yes sixty six - other Council's have signed the LGA Climate Declaration, I challenge our Mayor and those Councillors who have supported her on this issue, to please, RETHINK. Please now decide to simply sign this aspirational Declaration that acknowledges the scientific reality of human induced climate change, of which we are now so frequently reminded. It is unnecessary nonsense that a responsible section of our 'community' is having to prosecute through the Courts, at considerable likely cost, that the Council's decision-making on this matter was flawed, and then for the wider community to have to pay for the defence of the Council's decision!

July 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTim

On the other hand the council just might double down, realising they're only dealing with a small pack of arrogant, ignorant, looney wackos, who've a deluded fantasy that we're melting glaciers and raising the oceans.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMack

I will leave this up just to demonstrate the level of intelligence that prevails in certain quarters in our community. Grant M Macintosh has no profile that I can locate.
Normally, this level of anonymous abuse will not be tolerated.

July 5, 2019 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Why is "Mack" any more anonymous than "Tim"?

The difference is that Mack is right. Council has made the correct decision, decided by a clear majority vote. We live in a democracy although Mr. Tegg may not like this.

Denis Tegg has no right to burden all ratepayers with huge legal costs to satisfy his ego. His action, whether successful or not, will do nothing at all to help the planet but no doubt will make him and his schoolchildren activists feel more important.

July 9, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCoromandel 49

The difference is that I know Tim, and he never becomes abusive - 'nuff said!

July 10, 2019 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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