Things looking ugly at KPB
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.