Reproduced from the Kapiti Independent News website

cruMonday, 13 November is the day the High Court will hear the Coastal Ratepayers United (CRU) case against the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) over changes to coastal hazards provisions.

Surprisingly, the KCDC has not filed a “cross appeal”, and at least five councillors were not informed about the date for the High Court hearing.

CRU’s concerns centre on Council going back on decisions made in 2014 to:

  • withdraw coastal hazard areas from the Proposed District Plan.
  • set up a Coastal Advisory Group, with community representation, to work on the hazards issue.

(To see the detail of KCDC’s illegal and un-notified actions and CRU’s responses, scroll down to the 26 July article: Ratepayers Win V KCDC)

The mayor has changed his tune

During the last triennium, Councillor K Gurunathan supported the 2014 decisions, which had been based on two independent reports commissioned by Council.

He also commended CRU on its concerns over the actions of KCDC in shifting ground and not involving the community.

However, now as Mayor, he claims that most elected councillors met privately with KCDC staff and agreed to the “new” approach.

Knowing about the High Court challenge looming in November however, he did not immediately advise a number of councillors of the date for the CRU appeal.

Ratepayers are entitled to better than this.

After all, Councillor Gurunathan campaigned for the mayoralty last year on the Local Government Act principle that: A local authority should conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner.

This principle has not been applied to action over the vital issue of Kapiti coastal hazards.

Not only to the Kapiti coastal hazards issue — we will do an analysis of Guru’s performance as mayor on the first anniversary of his election, 8 October. –Eds