Geoffrey’s statement on Resignation from the WCB

Resigning from the Waikanae Community Board, which I did Tuesday morning, is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I felt honoured to have been elected with 1400 supporters and worked energetically for the interests of Waikanae residents. It was forced upon me because Cr Prvanov, an appointed and not elected member had filed a Notice of Motion that defamed me.

Readers of Alan Tristram’s Kapiti Independent blog will have seen the Prvanov Notice of Motion seeking to have me barred from future meetings of the board for completely spurious reasons. Her allegations were baseless because in the first instance I did not write nor edit what she accused me of writing.

It therefore became impossible to continue particularly in light of the fact that Chief Executive Wayne Maxwell had given administrative approval, and ignored requests to have the motion withdrawn. It disabled me from being effective: the toxic atmosphere created by Cr Prvanov would have meant the effectiveness of the board would be much reduced. All for a personal crusade that may sadly now cost Ratepayers a by-election, depending on whether there is more than one candidate.

Resigning was the sole step available to me to stop her attacks and saving me from facing weeks or months of being personally abused. The stresses on myself and my family were becoming intolerable.

I also needed to make a stand on the one of the principles I hold sacred — the freedom of political expression by others, and freedom of the press. Cr Prvnov was offended by a Tomasina Wolfe piece of political satire. She clearly opposes both fundamentally important democratic principles as evidenced by her actions.

Why did Cr Prvanov make this personal attack? It has the hallmarks of the Mayor and his record of defaming and personally attacking anyone who stands in his way as evidenced by the Osborne defamation case that cost ratepayers a fortune, and his attacks on Councillor Randall and Community Board Member Guy Burns.

Prvanov did not appreciate my strong disagreement with two council decisions she supported — the first was the average 3.2% Rates increase for Waikanae people in June when the town has already been hit hard by increases in the last few years — I wanted no increase; the second was her vote in favour of Guru’s Gateway. I pointed out the extravagant wastage and that Waikanae in particular is losing out with the need for a proper Library, among other things.

This is a case where a proper Mayor would have seen council processes were being misused. The matter had nothing to do with my role as a community board member advocating for residents. A competent Mayor would have called a mediation meeting to sort it out. This Mayor did the opposite and made clear his hostility towards me, underlining the need for me to resign.

In June he made a decree that Waikanae Community Board members were now barred from briefings “because you have access to social media.” That was a direct attack on my role as a media Editor, and infamously implied I could be the source of leaks. You cannot prove a negative. I have never acted in the way the Mayor implied. He deliberately ruined a working relationship with the WCB for reasons based on his imagination, not fact.

The Mayor has his weekly propaganda column in the Kapiti News.   When Board Chair James Westbury similarly sought a weekly column in the Kapiti News, rotated around the the Kapiti Community Boards, the Mayor ensured it didn’t happen.

Until the toxic culture that pervades KCDC is changed, any person fighting for ratepayers money to be wisely invested is likely to find themselves in the same boat as me. However, I am not silenced. I intend to be an independent analyst of council matters;  both praising and and criticizing as appropriate.


We know former WCB member Tonchi Begovich who served one term and did not seek re-election last year also found Prvanov hard to deal with. –Eds

100 years young for Joyce Rush of Waikanae

from the KC News website


JoyceRush

Joyce Rush was born just after World War I, came through the Great Depression and World War II and is still going strong.

This week Joyce celebrates her 100th birthday and puts it down to good food and good genes.

“We have always eaten healthy food, even though at times there were shortages.
“I like to have an occasional tipple as well,” says Joyce who was enjoying a glass of bubbly with friends at the Relish Café in Waikanae.

“I’ve lived up here at Rymans Village for five years and before that was 18 years in Paraparaumu. I’m a widow now and I have a sister (younger) who lives in Paraparaumu.

My husband Gren was Auditor General,” says Joyce.

Joyce says she has a large family with three children and two step children.
“Well they’re not really children anymore, they’re all retired now,” says Joyce.

“I also have nine great-grandchildren but I’ve lost count of how many grandchildren I have. I have been very lucky,” she says as well-wishers raised a glass to celebrate her first 100 years.

sanctimonious councilor indignation an attempt to deflect from real issues

by Geoffrey Churchman

At present the Kapiti council is busy running around trying to put out fires — huge public opposition to the $5million+ Guru Gateway and the shenanigans that have been involved with it; and now the imminent closure of the airport.

Thus it must have been a welcome opportunity to at least partially distract attention from them by seizing upon a minor row about a piece of satire written by one of our contributors and edited by Roger Childs entitled ‘the Guru and the Kaj’ (the Kapiti Taj Mahal’). put on this blog on 26 July.

This was a piece which began:

Hurry — the season’s sell out show!

Satire by Thomasina Wolfe

In the wonderful world of Kapiti a brand new building, called the Taj Mahal of the Kapiti Coast is about to rise in all its glittering $5 million splendor beside a taniwha-filled stream, with the waves literally lapping at its doorsteps. The site of the Taj (some wits have already christened it “The Kaj”) itself brings great drama as the sea levels rise and it battles, like Canute, to turn back the tide.

Reading a script that had been composed for her by Tim Power — the KCDC executives’ in-house lawyer — Cr Prvanov declared at last night’s WCB meeting that somehow because it had appeared on this website for a bit over a day, that I, yes me, was guilty of all manner of social transgressions: not only sexism, but there were “racial overtones.”  Wow.

For the first time since last November the Lord Mayor of Kapiti himself showed up along with probably for the first time ever, Mr Power, and a couple of the Mayor’s media friends — David Haxton of Kapiti News and Joel Maxwell of Stuff.

But by the time this was discussed by the remaining 4 WCB members and a handful of the public circa 9:15 pm, the audience had shrunk from about 100 at the 7 pm start (most had been Ferndale residents) to about 12.  The Mayor must have been disappointed.

Complaining about the satirical post was one thing, but disturbingly Prvanov condemned me for this article about chronic bullying by Mayor Gurunathan and three of his councilors.

By implication that means she must support bullying in the workplace — does that make her a fit person to be a councilor? In fact, not only does she support bullying, she has clearly indulged in it herself in my case.

As mentioned elsewhere, the toxicity between us had become palpable, and what do females at the Kapiti Council have a reputation for doing when their foe is a male?  You got it. Prvanov stated “I feel extremely vulnerable in his [my] presence because of the views he holds”  I don’t know what views I am supposed to hold make her feel that way.   Given her propensity for aggression, it was me who felt extremely vulnerable.

The Waikanae Community Board is not the Press Council. If Cr Prvanov has a complaint about something in the media it should be with the writer and editor of an article, but certainly not the publisher. Her attacking a publisher is counter to a sacred principle — freedom of political expression by others.

The motion itself was ultra-vires — invalid — and defamatory. CEO Maxwell should not have allowed it on the agenda.

Localism in Kapiti stymied because of the Mayor

by Geoffrey Churchman

Reproduced below is one of the present Kapiti mayor’s campaign advertisements from last year.

Like all his other promises from both 2016 and 2019, it has proved to be a case of “say something that sounds good to get elected, then ignore it when in office.”

In this case, however, not only has he done nothing to honor his promise, he has actually done the exact opposite.

Last November when Guy Burns of the Paraparaumu-Raumati Community Board proposed a list of areas of council roles where there could and should be devolution of power to the community boards, the Mayor’s response was a typically arrogant and snide rejection with the comment “this is a marathon, not a sprint.”  Or as Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes, Minister would say, “In due course — in the fullness of time.”  In other words, forget about it.

In June at a council meeting he announced that community boards were being barred from councilor briefings.  How does preventing boards from having access to information empower them?

For elected members with this mayor it’s a case of: “all right you people, be nice and obsequious, smile and nod approval for the things the management put in front of you and you’ll have a pleasant trip.  You’ll get your photo ops, your excursions to events and conventions where you can socialise and be merry.” And of course, we well know what happens when instead they put up opposition.

About half the time of most Community Board meetings is spent on deciding to award small discretionary grants to people — often things like $500 for little Johnny to go to a gymnastics tournament out of town.  In Waikanae many parents are wealthy enough to pay for such themselves, but if it meets the criteria, who’s going to turn down free money?  There should be some central council committee that deals with this; Community Boards should spend their time listening to concerns, gathering evidence and deciding what needs to be done about them; then ensuring the agreed action takes place within a reasonable period.

One problem that the boards have in Kapiti is the automatic appointment of a Ward Councilor to them — that in my view isn’t a good idea. Councilors should have speaking rights, but the result with voting rights is that the Councilor dominates everything out of an inflated sense of prestige and the voting powers they have at the Council table which Community Board members do not have.

Additionally in my view, all Councilors should be District-wide (and fewer of them: 6 rather than 10 would be enough) — Wards should be for the Community Boards only. These changes can be promoted at the next representation review due next year.


Empower_Community_Boards_idx64470993

One of Mayor Gurunathan’s campaign ads last year — in practice he has done the exact opposite.

Labour Party rules out railway electrification to Ōtaki  

double track electrifyNews the Labour Party has ruled out electrifying and double tracking the rail line from Waikanae to Ōtaki will be met with real disappointment by Kapiti locals, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop and National’s Candidate for Ōtaki Tim Costley say.

“Last night at a Labour Party public meeting, David Parker was asked if Labour supported National’s commitment to double track and electrify the line. He said he spoke to Transport Minister Phil Twyford on the way to the debate and reported it is not Labour Party policy,” Mr Bishop says.

TC“The choice at this election for Ōtaki commuters is clear – back Tim Costley and National who will bring Ōtaki into the Wellington commuter network, or back the Labour Party, who will not,” Mr Bishop says.

National’s commitment to electrification comes from its $31 billion transport infrastructure package, details of which are being progressively announced around the country. The $31 billion is over and above the current Government’s transport spending and is fully costed and budgeted for.

“National’s promise to bring commuter rail to Ōtaki has been widely welcomed in the region and something I’ve been proud to push as the local candidate,” Mr Costley says.

“Electrification will also allow people living in Manakau, Ōtaki and Te Horo to easily travel to Wellington, rather than relying on the once-a-day Capital Connection service from Palmerston North. Many Ōtaki locals drive to Waikanae to jump on the electric train service to Wellington, and the carpark is regularly full.

“In time, I’m keen on electrifying the line to Levin.

“Only a National Government will get Ōtaki moving,” Mr Costley says.


The present Kapiti deputy mayor Janet Holborow is standing on the Labour Party list at number 69. –Eds

our capitalist democracy has been turned into a mafia state

By Chris Hedges

godmotherwebThe ruling elites no longer have legitimacy. They have destroyed our capitalist democracy and replaced it with a mafia state. What the Roman philosopher Cicero called a commonwealth, a res publica, a “public thing” or the “property of a people,” has been transformed into an instrument of naked pillage and repression on behalf of a global corporate oligarchy. We are serfs ruled by obscenely rich, omnipotent masters who loot the U.S. Treasury, pay little or no taxes and have perverted the judiciary, the media and the legislative branches of government to strip us of civil liberties and give them the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft.

The loss of control over our system of rulership, the misuse of all democratic institutions, the electoral process and laws to funnel money upwards into to a handful of oligarchs while stripping us of power, ominously means that the ruling elites can no longer claim the right to have a monopoly on violence. Violence employed by police and security agencies such as the FBI, which have devolved into occupying forces, to protect the exclusive interests of a tiny, ruling criminal class exposes the fiction of the rule of law and the treason of the ruling elites.

Read the rest

Quote

Garden Fence Wars

On a British gardening blog.  Good neighbourliness involves the two neighbours discussing and agreeing this sort of thing before it happens.  In Kapiti a fence over 2.5 metres in height (not on a street frontage) requires council consent — and an addition like this is pretty close to what you could consider an increase in the height of the fence.


You may not be interested in the Fence Wars of our neighbours, but as it was only yesterday that I mentioned it, and there were ‘developments’ today, I thought some of you might be curious. Sometime early this morning (and perhaps under cover of darkness…?!) a trellis was attached to the bare fence posts and covered with fine mesh, the same kind of mesh that had been attached to our boundary (next to the cutting beds and fruit cage) a day or so after I had the audacity to make myself known to the young man living there when he walked past on the other side of the fence…

via For Your Information: Fence Wars — Rambling in the Garden

‘Wai-Kanae Pa’ before 1847

Wai-Kanae Pa

A sketch by John Alexander Gilfillan 1793-1864

“The mouth of the Waikanae River showing a fenced pa (Kenakena) with a large number of buildings. The large building with peaked roof is believed to be the first Maori Missionary church built by Bishop Octavius Hadfield. Kapiti Island is visible in the background…

“According to evidence given in the Native Land Court (Otaki Minute Book 10, Ngarara Hearing. 1890) the Kenakena pa, which stood at the mouth of the Waikanae river, was built by the Ngati Toa chiefs Te Rangihiroa and Te Hiko o te Rangi after the tribe “consolidated their position on the Kapiti coast following their” historic migration from Kawhia. The Ngati Toa later settled Te Ati Awa at Waikanae and it was during this period that the Kenakenapa and surrounding district was associated with Wi Kingi Te Rangitaake (aka Te Whiti).”  (Alexander Turnbull Library collection)