Crown Manager (CM)
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.
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.
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