Things look­ing ugly at KPB

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Keep Porirua Beau­ti­ful is in limbo af­ter a change in lead­er­ship has led to the dis­missal of its co-or­di­na­tor and the sus­pen­sion of Porirua City Coun­cil fund­ing.

Re­cently ap­pointed chair­man Hay­den Nash has em­pha­sised the need for bet­ter gov­er­nance mea­sures at the or­gan­i­sa­tion, which ar­ranges clean-up ac­tiv­i­ties and plant­ings in the community.

‘‘There’s no con­sti­tu­tion in place, this needs to be sorted out so we can move for­ward prop­erly.’’

He ad­mits to fac­ing op­po­si­tion since his ap­point­ment, much of it ‘‘per­son­al­ity-based’’.

His de­ci­sion to lay off co-or­di­na­tor John Pop­ple­ton on July 16 – with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, with locks changed at the KPB of­fice – was purely a fi­nan­cial one, he in­sists.

The coun­cil re­cently cut its fund­ing by more than half, to $32,000.

‘‘John is an in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tor, which means his po­si­tion can be ter­mi­nated at any time.

‘‘They [other mem­bers of the com- mit­tee] are over­look­ing that.

‘‘Do­ing things like this are not en­joy­able but it was a busi­ness de­ci­sion that had to be made in the im­me­di­ate term. It’s not per­sonal.’’

Mr Pop­ple­ton is tak­ing em­ploy­ment ad­vice and may fight his dis­missal.

He told Kapi-Mana News he was asked by Mr Nash to go to the KPB of­fices where he was ‘‘sacked on the spot’’.

The grounds for it, he says, was pri­vate use of a KPB ve­hi­cle, which he un­der­stood to be al­lowed by the board. ‘‘I felt the in­vest­ment I’d put into KPB was de­stroyed in five min­utes. I thought the rea­sons [Mr Nash gave] were petty, it was shock­ing.’’

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett says the coun­cil has sus­pended its KPB fund­ing, ‘‘un­til we are sat­is­fied the func­tion­al­ity and con­sti­tu­tion is sound’’.

Mr Nash says the chair­per­son of Keep New Zealand Beau­ti­ful will at­tend a Septem­ber 7 meet­ing, where they hope to iron out the in­ter­nal ruc­tions.

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