Boot Motions » Council meeting 27 Apr 2011 - WorkBoot dig #2
Moved Larsen/ Seconded Linton That Item 4.3 of the Council Agenda 27 April 2011, titled “Kaipara District Plan Review: Hearings Panel Recommendations and Budget”, remain on the table until Council received the written report from the independent reviewer of the financial health and sustainability of the organisation being undertaken by PJ and Associates; and That Council commissions independent planning barrister Alan Dormer to provide a workshop and report on the legal and financial implications of withdrawing and adopting the proposed District Plan and Variation 1 - Landscapes; and That Item 4.3 of the Council Agenda 27 April 2011, lie on the table until the Alan Dormer workshop and report have been presented to Council.
It was resolved on 18 February 2011-
'That Council let this item remain on the table until it receives the report which will fall out of an independent review of the financial health and sustainability of the organisation to be undertaken by PJ and Associates' While Council has had a verbal progress advice from Philip Jones, Council has not received the report on the financial health and sustainability of the organisation from PJ and Associates.
To proceed with this item prior to receiving the report would be contrary to the previous resolution and therefore inconsistent with the public record of Council's proceedings upon which the ratepayers are entitled to rely as being Council's intended course of action.
To change that public position without first publicly notifying its intentions to do that and provide ratepayers with an opportunity to provide input to Council is effectively ambushing the ratepayers and would make a mockery of Council's own public commitments to its ratepayers in relation to process. Furthermore, to proceed without the benefit of the report would deny Council and in particular the newly elected councillors of having the full information on the financial health of Council prior to making major decisions on the future direction of the district. As noted above, this information has not yet been received. Again, as with the first part of the motion, Council and in particular the newly elected councillors, should have appropriate information on which they can rely, prior to making major decisions on the future direction of the district.
On this issue, which has been raised before Council, such information is not before Council. The need for independent advice arises as Brookfields and BECA have a significant commercial interest in the passing of the resolution and neither should have been asked for advice on an issue upon which they both have such a direct commercial issue.
It is also noted that the CEO's endorsement of the advice received from Brookfields and BECA does not address the already known indirect pecuniary conflict of interest arising from him being in a relationship with Venessa Anich who is employed by BECA as a senior planner.
The advice, if relied on by Council could be challenged on the basis of that indirect pecuniary conflict of interest. The simple and prudent step that Council should take to protect its CEO and the reputation of Council and its councillors is to ensure that the advice that is relied on is not tainted with these two very serious conflicts by obtaining completely independent advice from a person of standing, expertise and authority and the suggested person in the form of Mr Alan Dormer is such a person. I have no commercial dealings with Mr Dormer and commend him by reputation. For convenience Mr Dormer's profile (taken from the web pages of the prestigious Shortland Chambers) is attached: click here
The Council went on to approve the funding in contravention of the earlier motion and without receiving the advice. I voted against the motion. You can view the resolution at page 6 of the minutes pdf here http://www.kaipara.govt.nz/documents/cminutes%202011%20April%2027%20public%20unconfirmed%20pdf.pdf