Response from CEO Gary Simpson to Cr Rob McCann to the mail sent him below:
Further to my email on Friday I have inserted my replies to your questions into your email. I will also copy this email to the other elected members.
Kia ora Garry
At a recent meeting on 28 July Councillors were asked to purchase property for the development of the Waikanae Town centre in the Mahara Place
Can you confirm a related paper was pulled prior to that meeting?
No paper was pulled prior to the meeting. A public excluded paper was on the agenda for the meeting which proposed the purchase of four properties across the district for a variety of purposes, 9 Mahara Place was one of the properties. The first draft of the report included a number of other properties including some in the Waikanae Town centre but for varying reasons additional work was required on them so I withdrew them from the report. These properties will not come before the Council until all necessary work has been completed and their recommended purchase can be fully justified. In relation specifically to the Waikanae Library there are a number of issues to be dealt with before we get to a stage where a specific site or sites can be recommended. I would imagine that the information and the thinking behind it will be the subject of a briefing/workshop with elected members prior to the finalisation of any report to Council. It will be necessary to deal with that in a confidential setting as the proposed purchase of private property is likely to be identified.
And if so what property did that relate to and why was the paper pulled?
I have explained above why the original report was modified by reducing the number of properties proposed to be purchased and the reasons for the omissions.
Having read on the internet this purchase is for the purpose of building the Waikanae Library, what discussions have staff had about the location of the replacement library and why was that information not included in the briefing?
There was no briefing. The purchase of 9 Mahara Place makes sense in its own right as a cornerstone for any further development in the town centre regardless of whether it is eventually chosen as a site for a new library. As identified in the report it is possible that housing could be included in any development of that site. This was first raised in the February 2022 briefing to elected members on this project.
Why has the briefing in the Waikanae Library Briefing been pushed till after the elections?
There has been no pushing out of a briefing to elected members until after the election. Once all relevant work has been completed a workshop/briefing will be held prior to reporting to the Council. I expect a briefing will be held prior to the election but it will not be the last briefing before a recommendation report is prepared for Council.
And, were there any changes to delegations following or prior to the purchase, and if so, why have these not been relayed to councillors?
I’m not aware of any changes to delegations following or prior to the purchase of 9 Mahara Place. A sale and purchase agreement was negotiated conditional on Council resolving to purchase the property. That agreement would have lapsed had Council decided not to proceed with the purchase and that was identified in the report.