1819-261 signed response Geoffrey and Eva Churchman_-1

1819-261 signed response Geoffrey and Eva Churchman_-2

We reported the full page newspaper apology by K. Gurunathan, the present Kapiti mayor, in this post from 20 March.  Our OIA request to find out how much all this cost Ratepayers reveals the following:

$10,000 to cover the excess (deductible) on the council’s insurance policy to hire the law firm of Heaney & Co.; the rest was covered by the policy;

but additionally:

The Dougherty-appointed in-house council lawyer Tim Power cost a further “70 to 100 hours” of salaried time, plus another $10,000 as a fee paid to his business Power Law in February-March this year.

How much that “70-100 hours” equates to as a cost to Ratepayers isn’t easy to quantify precisely, as the specific salary he was being paid from the time Dougherty hired him in 2012 to last February isn’t public, however, we have on good authority it was circa $240,000 per annum (about twice what a lawyer in private practice typically makes).

Assuming that Power worked 35 hours a week for 45 weeks a year = circa 1600 hours a year; that is an hourly cost of $150:– multiplying by 70 = $10,500; multiplying by 100 = $15,000 and it’s more likely to be closer to the latter.


  • Why did Mr Power need to be so extensively involved in addition to Heaney & Co.?
  • Why didn’t K. Gurunathan simply apologize when he was asked to? Even if Mr Power couldn’t appreciate that he wasn’t going to win the case, Heaney & Co. must have.  That would have been a whole lot simpler, and cheaper for Ratepayers.

Our OIA request also covered what the council spent persecuting Kerry Bolton; a separate post on that is a few days away.