Folks who were residents of Kapiti between 2008 and 2017 will be very familiar with Mr Patrick Dougherty, the Boss of the Kapiti Coast District Council after newly elected Mayor Jenny Rowan in 2008 decided she didn’t want his predecessor and told him to go (which he did at big cost of Ratepayers). In came Mr Dougherty, Nelson’s Waterworks Engineer, as Boss for reasons best known to herself and the councilors of the time.

Here for empathy with the suffering Ratepayers of Nelson City (where Mr Dougherty went back to from Kapiti, this time as their Boss) is correspondence between Neville Male, Convenor of Nelson Citizens Alliance and Dougherty.  Neville Male sought to register the outrage and dismay of Nelson citizens at some City Council decisions.


—–Original Message—–
From: Neville Male <malenpf7@gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, 3 April 2022 8:11 am
To: Rachel Reese <mayor@ncc.govt.nz>; Pat Dougherty <pat.dougherty@ncc.govt.nz>
Cc: Councillors <councillors@ncc.govt.nz>
Subject: Annual Plan Review / FDS Submissions Timeline .. URGENT

Mayor, CEO and Councillors,
Decisions made regarding the above have dismayed many ratepayers and the Alliance now formally requests that they be URGENTLY  reconsidered.

1. ANNUAL PLAN REVIEW  –
The decision not to undertake an Annual Plan Review is totally unacceptable. The public comments made “ it’s been covered at workshops” (Mayor) and “ the staff have worked their guts out” (CEO) do not constitute anything like credible reasons to avoid the review. The fact that the debt level has increased by over $1M is in itself justification for the expenditure in the annual budget to be discussed with ratepayers.
The Alliance requests the decision be revisited without further delay.

2. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (FDS)-
Why is it that Council keeps agreeing to ridiculously short timeframes for the calling of Public Submissions on serious matters ? We saw that with the Representation Review (Wards) considerations and now with the FDS process. To allow just 34 DAYS for ratepayers to have input to this extremely important long term strategy is frankly ridiculous. Hosting Zoom Webinars nowhere has the reach required into the community for an issue like this and cannot be claimed to have provided or achieved an acceptable level of ratepayer consultation.
The Alliance now formally requests that Council extend the date for receiving FDS submissions until 31 May 2022.
Please respond on these two matters without delay.

Neville Male
Convenor
Nelson Citizens Alliance


On 12/04/2022, at 5:38 PM, Pat Dougherty <pat.dougherty@ncc.govt.nz> wrote:

Kia ora, Neville

Thank you for your email in relation to the Annual Plan and the Future Development Strategy.

The Local Government Act 2002 does not require councils to consult on annual plans where changes from the relevant Long Term Plan for that year are not significant.  In fact the 2014 amendment to the Act was specifically designed to reduce the consultation burden for councils and communities.

A careful assessment of proposed changes against Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy and Long Term Plan priorities showed that there were no material changes. To consult in such a situation would be a waste of ratepayer resources and raise expectations of changes that could not be accommodated without increasing rates or cutting already agreed projects.

The Future Development Strategy 2022-2052 is at the formal consultation stage and the community has until 14 April to make a submission on the FDS.  That will be followed by hearings which are scheduled for April and May.  Council has put in place a number of ways to ensure the community is informed and has the opportunity to provide feedback including information webinars, videos, interactive maps, questions and answers based on feedback received from the community in October 2021 and access to Council reports and up to date written information.

The consultation period cannot be further extended because the programme is scheduled to enable the FDS to be adopted by both Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council at the end of July.  Government policy requires councils to have an FDS in place that informs the Long Term Plan 2024-2034 and work on that Plan commences soon after July 2022.  There is no more flexibility in the timeframe.

Nga mihi

Pat Dougherty
Chief Executive | Tumuaki

Nelson City Council | Te kaunihera o Whakatū
P 03 546 0268
M 022 012 4079
nelson.govt.nz


From: Neville Male <malenpf7@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: Annual Plan Review / FDS Submissions Timeline .. URGENT

Date: 15 April 2022 at 3:56:08 PM NZST

To: Pat Dougherty <pat.dougherty@ncc.govt.nz>

Cc: Councillors@ncc.govt.nz

Good afternoon Pat,
I have to admit your bureaucratic response was anticipated and will now be conveyed to our supporters.
With respect to the Annual Plan it doesn’t matter what the Act allows for the fact is the Annual Plan Review happens every year and allows for a two way Council/Community discussion on important issues. By hiding behind the provisions of the legislation and not proceeding with the review you close the door for ratepayers to have their say and that is not acceptable. Mind you as we have seen with Maori Wards -3 Waters and the Representation Review it is now the way Council wants to operate with little regard to having a good and up front interface with its ratepayers. I suspect the consequences of that will be realised later this year.
With respect to the FDS 2022 -2052 why was it left for only 32 days to be provided for public consultation? Surely the time table should have been better managed than that. Once again ratepayers are given inadequate time to consider and make in-depth submissions and that is a disgrace.
It now does seem that as there is an error in the plan attachments that would justify the closing date to be extended to enable the corrected plan once produced to be considered.
Please now consider that as a formal request from the Alliance.

Neville Male 
Convenor
Nelson Citizens Alliance