Today we had morning tea with Alan Tristram and Roger Childs of the Kapiti Independent News during which our mutual dismay at the way the KCDC is run was the major topic.

However, they think that as bad as the KCDC is, the neigbouring Horowhenua District Council is even worse.

One of the several controversial things the HDC has done is abolish developer taxes which are there to pay for public infrastructure costs (such as water, stormwater wastewater) as well as other things involved with new property developments: the reason being that some of the councillors are developers!

The wording of section 6 of the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act is given below and it seems that a prosecution on it should have a reasonable chance of being successful.

The effective penalty stated in the following section of a prosecution not quashed through appeal is “the office of the member shall be vacated;” in other words, they are dismissed from the council.


 

Member of local authority or committee not to discuss or vote on question in which he has pecuniary interest

(1)

A member of a local authority or of a committee thereof shall not vote on or take part in the discussion of any matter before the governing body of that local authority or before that committee in which he has, directly or indirectly, any pecuniary interest, other than an interest in common with the public.

(1A)

Nothing in subsection (1) shall apply in any case where a member of a local authority or a committee of the local authority has been elected by or appointed to represent any activity, industry, business, organisation, or group of persons and his pecuniary interest is not different in kind from the interests of other persons in the activity, industry, business, organisation, or group by which the member is elected or in respect of which he is appointed.

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1), where an incorporated company has, directly or indirectly, a pecuniary interest in a matter before the governing body of a local authority or before a committee thereof, a member of the local authority or, as the case may be, of the committee shall be deemed to have a pecuniary interest in the matter, if—

(a)
the member or his spouse or partner singly or between them own, whether directly or through a nominee, 10% or more of the issued capital of the company or of any other company controlling that company; or
(b)
the member or his spouse or partner is a member of the company, and either of them is the managing director or the general manager (by whatever names they are called) of the company; or
(c)
the member or his spouse or partner is a member of a company controlling the company having a pecuniary interest in the matter before the governing body of the local authority or, as the case may be, before the committee, and either the member or his spouse or partner is the managing director or the general manager (by whatever names they are called) of that controlling company; or
(d)
the member or his spouse or partner is the managing director or general manager (by whatever names they are called) of the company having a pecuniary interest in the matter before the governing body of the local authority or, as the case may be, before the committee, and either of them is a member of a company controlling that company.

(2A)

Where the spouse or partner of a member of a local authority or of any committee thereof has, directly or indirectly, a pecuniary interest in a matter before the governing body of a local authority or before a committee thereof as the owner or one of the owners (otherwise than as a member of an incorporated company) of an estate or interest in any real or personal property or of any business or as a party to any contract or proposed contract with the local authority, the member shall, for the purposes of subsection (1), be deemed to have a pecuniary interest in the matter.

(2B)

Nothing in subsection (2) or subsection (2A) shall apply with respect to the spouse or partner of any member where, at the time when the member took part in the discussion of or, as the case may be, voted on the matter before the local authority or committee, the member and his spouse or partner were living apart.

(3)

Nothing in subsection (1) shall apply with respect to any of the following matters:

(a)
any payment to or for the benefit of a member where it is legally payable and the amount or maximum amount or the rate or maximum rate of the payment has already been fixed; or
(b)
any contract of insurance insuring members against personal accident; or
(c)
an election or appointment of a member of the local authority to any office, notwithstanding that any remuneration or allowance is or may be payable in respect of that office; or
(d)
any formal resolution to seal or otherwise complete any contract or document in accordance with a resolution already adopted; or
(e)
the preparation, recommendation, approval, or review of a district plan under the Resource Management Act 1991 or any section of such a scheme, unless the matter relates to any variation or change of or departure from a district scheme or section thereof or to the conditional use of land as defined in that Act; or
(ea)
the preparation, recommendation, approval, or review of general schemes under the Soil Conservation and Rivers Control Act 1941 for the preventing or minimising of damage by floods and by erosion; or
(eb)
the preparation, recommendation, approval, or review of reports as to the effect or likely effect on the environment of any public work or proposed public work within the meaning of the Public Works Act 1981; or
(f)
any matter in which, in the opinion of the Auditor-General given before the vote or discussion and on written application to the Auditor-General for his or her opinion, the pecuniary interest of a member is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence him in voting on or taking part in the discussion of that matter.

(4)

Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), the Auditor-General may, of his or her own motion or upon written application made to him or her by the member concerned, declare that that subsection shall not apply with respect to any specified matter or specified class of matter to be considered by the local authority or committee, as the case may be, if the Auditor-General is satisfied that the application of that subsection would impede the transaction of business by the local authority or committee or that it would be in the interests of the electors or inhabitants of the district of the local authority or of the area under its jurisdiction that the subsection should not apply.

(5)

Any person who under subsection (1) is prohibited from voting on or taking part in the discussion of any matter at any meeting at which he is present shall, when the matter is raised before the local authority or committee of which he is a member, declare to the meeting that he has a pecuniary interest in the matter, and the fact of the disclosure of interest and of the abstention from discussion and voting shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. Any such record in the minutes of the meeting shall be prima facie evidence of its contents, in the event of any question arising as to whether a member made a disclosure of interest and abstained from discussion and voting.

(6)

Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1), a member of any of the following bodies:

(a)
the University Grants Committee:
(b)
the Council of Massey University:
(c)
the Council of the University of Auckland:
(d)
the Council of the University of Canterbury:
(e)
the Council of the University of Otago:
(f)
the Council of the University of Waikato:
(g)
the Council of the Victoria University of Wellington:
(gg)
[Repealed]
(h)
the Council of Lincoln University:
(i)
[Repealed]
(j)
[Repealed]
(k)
[Repealed]
shall be entitled to take part in the discussion before that body, or any committee thereof, of any matter that directly or indirectly affects his salary or allowances, but shall not be entitled to vote thereon.

 

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