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Mayors Message



greg-478Crown Manager (CM)
You will have read by now that the Government has disestablished the CM role. This is due to uncertainty around the process used to appoint the CM at the time that Kaipara returned to an elected Council. This issue is one for the Government to deal with, not Kaipara District Council (KDC), but affects us hugely.

The thinking behind the appointment of a CM was to allow the new Council to concentrate on the future and not get bogged down in litigation related to past decisions. At a very pragmatic level, it also meant new (and learning) Councillors did not have to get an in-depth understanding of issues, some of which date back to 2013.

The CM was Peter Winder, who was also one of the three Commissioners. Mr Winder also handled legal matters for the Commissioners, and his appointment provided continuity. Although the CM made decisions related to legal matters for Council, ratepayers have and will continue to foot the bill. The amounts are substantial for a district the size of ours (see the breakdown in the next section).

Councillors and myself have had an assurance from the Associate Minister Jacqui Dean that the decisions made by the CM to date are legal and will stand. Of course, ultimately, it is only a Court that can make that absolute determination should Government be challenged in that regard.

Council’s view of this matter is simple. We all stood for the role believing we would not have to personally deal with historic legal matters. We believe Government gave us that commitment and should honour that. The Minister has pledged to provide us with future support. We are now waiting to see what form that will take, and whether it will be acceptable to us.

I will keep you updated. Below are our (ratepayer) costs incurred to date. These costs of course make no allowance for the huge management distraction that occurs during these types of proceedings.

Legal and Professional Related Service Costs  
Judical Review 1 (started March 2013) KDC v MRRA (Mangawhai Residents Association) $0.9m
Judical Review 2 (started August 2015) KDC and NRC v Rogans $0.3m
Accountability Review KDC v OAG (Audit Office) and former CEO $1.8m
Rates Recovery (started January 2014)   $0.4m
This makes a grand total spend of $3.4 million.  

Otamatea 3 Day Camp
On a more positive note, I was invited to attend and judge at the above camp held on Paparoa Station Road. It was fantastic to see 200 children being children: making huts, getting covered in mud, horse riding and a myriad of other activities supported by good Christian values.

The logistics of running such a camp (which has been going for many years) must be daunting. To all those adults who pitched in... you are the people who make Kaipara the great place that it is. I guess your greatest reward is that the children, particularly from the city, will remember the experience for the rest of their lives.

Meeting With Me
I have days at Dargaville where I meet citizens who wish to make an appointment. For those on the eastern side of the district, I am happy to do the same at our Mangawhai council offices. Please contact Sean Mahoney on 09 439 3602 to make an appointment.

On behalf of Council, I was honoured to attend the dawn parade at Maungaturoto and the mid-morning service at Dargaville. Other Councillors and Officers attended services throughout the district.

Our Vision
The Kaipara vision is currently “Kaipara - where it’s easy to live”. As the start of the next 10-year planning cycle, we need to first consider if this Vision is still appropriate for us. If you have any thoughts in this regard, please have a chat to your local Councillor.

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