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Once again, the influence of Tim Power is detectable in maintaining the culture of secrecy which has pervaded KCDC senior management since former boss Mr Dougherty appointed him in 2012. (There is one exception: Mark de Haast, a straight-forward guy who doesn’t try to fudge or obfuscate things.)

There is no justification for maintaining secrecy about the amount of the tender submitted by the council in July 2019 for the property purchase in question on the basis of “commercial sensitivity” (paragraph 2) when the tender was clearly not accepted by the vendor at that time and the council states in paragraph 18 that it intends to maintain ownership of the property “longer term”. The amount subsequently offered by the council and accepted by the vendor was made public by the council once the vendor had told members of the public about it.

For the same reasons, the council’s refusal to supply the information requested in paragraph 14 is unreasonable and the only likely explanation for it is embarrassment to the then councilors about the paucity of information with which they accepted the management recommendation to proceed with this purchase.

It is simply dishonest to imply the council didn’t know what former owner Mulholland’s ambitions with the property were: from what is common knowledge, to build a boutique hotel on it, which would have been beneficial for tourism.  The council will know exactly why the project didn’t proceed.

We asked Karl Webber for his comments, which include:


“I’m stoked council have purchased this property, the empty section and the building on the other section, for a whole lot of cool ideas I could come up with, but I’m not impressed with the way they went about it or the non-transparent and non-engaging manner they have had after the fact.
“The first tender in July is interesting, this is probably when some of us got the heads up council was sniffing around it. I wonder if any of the current elected members at the time were aware? [probably not —Eds]
“Unless unless we are all missing something, the story is Mulholland had a plan to build a multi-story apartment building (where it would bridge over Jan’s cafe, owned by Vista) and Vista would do their food and beverage etc, so a tag team project to some degree. I think there were some issues with title etc., for Vista where they wanted to make the bridge access; also Mulholland’s consent was turned down due to not enough car parks, hence the property being put back on the market, so KCDC would have had plans or some form of application for resource consent, so to me council is misleading us. I think having a good chat to Darren and Sharon Hunter would be advantageous — they know Mulholland and what really went down.
“Mulholland must have applied for a resource consent / building permit etc and supplied plans to council, again I’d check with the Hunters, this doesn’t sound right to me, unless [we] used a wrong word or suchlike and council are not giving [us] a report because [we] asked for a consent-type scenario, they have done that to me in the past.
“My understanding is Maclean Park and nearby is beachfront, the other side of the road isn’t, so under the ‘managed retreat’ policy, only stuff on the Maclean Park side or beachfront is under the no-build policy, but it would probably pay to check this out — keep in mind council wanted to throw $15-20 million at a rebuild of the boat club for their Gateway centre or biosecurity check-in facility; both things have now become unclear.. it’s been one big waste of everybody’s time and a devious consultation process, in my opinion
“We have been told we will have some feedback from the Tourism Recreation Consultants results by the 2nd week of November now, will be interesting to see.
“Paragraph 11: I semi agree with KCDC here, but I don’t like their process to carry out these projects as the council thinks — it’s their job to come up with what the community wants. [One might ask, however, why ‘no interest was registered’ in the offer in 2013; why this huge change in attitude? —Eds]
“Morag in council sent out an e-mail to some of us that stated the new property is not for a Gateway, which is what they are calling the bio check-in for the island and also a larger Gateway centre for the whole Kapiti Coast, she also said they have two Provincial Growth Fund applications in the works that this could be suitable for, so god knows what new PGF projects council have dreamed up for the community, without any consultation or engagement.
“Paragraph 18 — this is a good point, we have one operator, Glen Cooper who says it should be up to the commercial operators and DoC to come up with a bio check-in, not rate- or tax-payers, so that’s interesting, and the council’s original proposed spend of $15-20 million for a Gateway centre in the current boating club, I mean that’s a lot of $ to blow if it was only for the restricted numbers to Kapiti Island; for a Gateway for the whole Kapiti coast yes, but we need that to be near the businesses, cafes, shops etc, not all the way away over by the boat club — and what will we do for a boat club, Coastguard etc? Incidentally, the club has made it very clear our building is not available for a Gateway of any sort so it’ll be interesting to see what the TRC recommendations are.
“Access to a biosecurity facility for people going to the island needs to be over near the departure point, not over by town where the Gateway needs to be, they are two different biscuits.
“The most logical place to have a toilet and bio check-in facility is just south of the Tikotu stream where there is also a current car park, which under the Maclean Park plan is to be upgraded one day, which will give us 2 extra parks at god knows what cost, so really, instead of blowing $500,000 — $1 million on the car park, they should leave it as is and undertake an under $2 million toilet block and bio check-in here and then we can focus on a Gateway for the whole Kapiti coast either over near the shops etc, probably the new property is the most ideal, or we include the Gateway in with the Marine Discovery Centre project for the Raumati pools which I’ve brought the new ED team up to speed with in the last week or so.
“Again, Darren and Sharon Hunter are the other people I’ve been working with on a small iconic biosecurity check in in the carpark south of the Tikotu stream for about a year now, in opposition to council with their grand plan for the boat club, that’s not available, to the extent that the Provincial Growth Fund people said they wouldn’t support either as they didn’t want to get involved in the politics of a community-led project verses a council-led one, still, interesting they are supporting the councils TRC review of the plan for the boat club. Council shouldn’t have wasted any $ re consulting with TRC over the Gateway, they just asked a whole lot of us what we thought or knew, and they had the audacity to argue some points of fact with me regarding some of this process; e.g. they had the numbers allowed to go to Kapit Island all wrong, argued that the island didn’t shut down over winter for 3 months etc when it does, so the whole process has been one big waste of time and $ in my opinion. (Quote: “It is yet to be decided where access points to and from the island will be situated. Any final decisions would of course only be made after extensive consultation with the community and stakeholders.”)”