Because this is not live streamed or officially recorded, Geoffrey went along to the first of these 30-minute antecedent sessions for the year at last Thursday’s meeting to listen.
To their credit, all the councilors and community board chairers were present except Jocelyn Prvanov of Waikanae, who showed up about 5 minutes before the council meeting began, and Regional Councilor Penny Gaylor from whom there was an apology as she was feeling unwell.
For others who would like to attend to hear what speakers say, it should be pointed out there isn’t a lot of public seating in the council chamber; in fact, there is a lot more in the hall where the Waikanae Community Board meetings are held.
We can only endorse the view of our contributor Salima Padamsey that the live streaming should be turned on — and tests should be undertaken to ensure that it works properly, which didn’t seem to be the case on Thursday.
One of the important issues raised during the session on Thursday is the lack of after-hours medical facilities in Kapiti or even in the Porirua area. If a visit to the Emergency Room is required, then it’s a trip all the way to Wellington Hospital. This takes about an hour by road, even assuming the ambulance is going faster than the normal speed limit, or a flight on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter which is about 10 minutes from Paraparaumu Airport.
This matter comes under the jurisdiction of the District Health Board, but is something on which the council should be agitating.
The council meeting began about 5 minutes late as the Emperor hadn’t arrived from upstairs — Michael Scott said someone should call him. No doubt Dougherty considers it an irksome duty to listen to councilors, let alone to ratepaying peasants who speak on a subject.
One of the items on the agenda was the council submission on the change to the Rates Rebate Scheme to cover renters in retirement villages. We’ll have more to say about that shortly. It seems that it’s a rarity for such draft submissions to be given to councilors to approve. If the council makes submissions on legislation at all, it’s simply done by Dougherty. He claimed that there isn’t usually time for more than that. Hmm.
Some members of the public who had shown up to speak left after that item had been covered, leaving basically the two Grey Power representatives, Geoffrey, Joel Maxwell of the Kapiti Observer, Jeremy Smith of Kapiti Independent News and a girl from Newstalk ZB who had been sent out from Wellington. About 11:30 we were unceremoniously ushered out of the room as the council was entering a closed session. After about half an hour of talking outside we decided to head off. We kept checking the live streaming but it never seemed to be switched on again.
News photo: Tasha Black/Kapiti Observer: Dougherty at the first Kapiti council meeting in 2012.