Council clarifies process
Kaikoura District Council has this week published a draft Significance and Engagement Policy which seeks to clarify how decisions are made by the council and how the public participates in the process.
The policy suggests differing levels of engagement at different stages of the process
It states that in general the more significant the issue, the greater the need for community engagement.
The initial draft from October received one written submission, which councillors referred to as ‘‘ articulate and well- reasoned,’’ and which the council decided should receive a written reply.
At a meeting on November 19th, the council debated the definition and involvement of stakeholders, and the discussion touched on which should come first in a proposal, the issue or a detailed plan.
In the council decision making process, it was generally held that without issues to present to the public in the form of a detailed proposal, there will therefore be nothing to discuss and hear feedback on.
Council CEO Stuart Grant said that council has to have a proposal before it can expect submissions
The submission received from Kathie Roberts questions how much the public has been consulted about projects requiring major expenditure.
In the submission she asserts that the purchase of the PGG building was unaffordable.
She wrote that this should have qualified as requiring public engagement.
She also states the new civic building differs markedly from the two-storey museum project in the Long Term Plan (LTP).
The draft policy states that if the council makes any decision that is inconsistent with its policies it must explain that inconsistency.
She questions why the Kaikoura Enhancement Group and the Kaikoura Community Facilities are listed in the Asset Management Strategy when ‘‘they look more like liabilities.’’