Bay as­so­ca­tion un­der fire

Crit­i­cism dis­missed as ‘beat-up’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

Ac­cu­sa­tions that Ti­tahi Bay Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion is a closed shop have led to its chair­man call­ing pub­lic crit­i­cism ‘‘a beat-up by some­one with a grudge’’.

The as­so­ci­a­tion, chaired by Graeme Eb­bett, has faced ques­tions re­cently from within the Ti­tahi Bay com­mu­nity re­gard­ing the mem­ber­ship process, its con­sti­tu­tion, fund­ing, ad­ver­tis­ing of meet­ings and whether the min­utes of past meet­ings are pub­licly avail­able.

When Kapi- Mana News con­tacted Mr Eb­bett to put some of the con­cerns to him, he called the ques­tions a ‘‘ set- up’’ and an ‘‘am­bush’’ and hung up.

Porirua City coun­cil­lor ’ Ana Cof­fey, who is a paid-up mem­ber of the as­so­ci­a­tion, said it was not held up to the same trans­parency that was ex­pected of other groups in the com­mu­nity.

She said it was im­por­tant to un­der­stand why it was dif­fi­cult to be­come a mem­ber.

Ms Cof­fey knew five res­i­dents who had ex­pe­ri­enced ‘‘a lot of frus­tra­tion’’ in try­ing to be­come part of the as­so­ci­a­tion, through mis­placed ap­pli­ca­tions or emails.

Prospec­tive mem­bers ul­ti­mately needed the green light from the as­so­ci­a­tion’s com­mit­tee to be­come a mem­ber, she said.

‘‘I would love to work in­side the process and make it more in­clu­sive, and for Ti­tahi Bay peo­ple to have some own­er­ship.

‘‘That isn’t hap­pen­ing right now and I’m com­mit­ted to see­ing change,’’ she said.

Ms Cof­fey said calls to start a break­away as­so­ci­a­tion were get­ting louder, but that she would like to see more work done with the cur­rent group.

Mr Eb­bett said he pre­ferred writ­ten ques­tions. We asked him: Who is on the as­so­ci­a­tion’s com­mit­tee and how many fi­nan­cial mem­bers are there?

How many pub­lic meet­ings have you held this year and when is your an­nual meet­ing?

Are those meet­ings closed to non-mem­bers?

Are the min­utes of pre­vi­ous meet­ings pub­licly avail­able?

How do you re­spond to sug­ges­tions of non-trans­parency and of the as­so­ci­a­tion be­ing dif­fi­cult to join?

How much money does the as­so­ci­a­tion have?

Are copies of the con­sti­tu­tion avail­able?

What pub­lic ac­tiv­i­ties – such as plant­ings and fairs – is the as­so­ci­a­tion in­volved in?

Mr Eb­bett said he would not re­spond to a beat-up by some­one with a grudge.

‘‘We are vol­un­teers, sup­port­ing and sponsoring nu­mer­ous com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives and are re­ceiv­ing no pub­lic fund­ing.

‘‘Any­one in­ter­ested is wel­come to all in­for­ma­tion at our ad­ver­tised meet­ings.’’

When pressed on where the meet­ings were ad­ver­tised and when the an­nual meet­ing was, Mr Eb­bett hung up.

The Porirua City Coun­cil man­ager of ad­min­is­tra­tion and ex­ec­u­tive sport, Wendy Hard­ing, said the coun­cil did not pay the as­so­ci­a­tion the $250 grant avail­able to res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tions in the last fi­nan­cial year, but that it did make pay­ments in March 2010 and Septem­ber 2011.

Mr Eb­bett has long bat­tled the coun­cil over its beach man­age­ment plan, specif­i­cally re­gard­ing al­low­ing cars on the beach.

He took the mat­ter to the High Court in 2007.

He said at the time there was no pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and the plan was ‘‘ rammed through’’ by the coun­cil.

He re­fused to leave a pub­licly ex­cluded Porirua City Coun­cil meet­ing on the man­age­ment of Ti­tahi Bay’s Moana Court flats last year un­til po­lice were called.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.