Sur­vey re­sults worth not­ing

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

The coun­cil­lor sur­vey Kapi-Mana News reg­u­larly car­ries out pro­vides a solid as­sess­ment of how mem­bers are faring.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said though the sur­vey was sub­jec­tive, it was healthy for democ­racy, be­cause it shone a light on lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

It’s im­por­tant to note the pan­elists pro­vide their own judge­ments. We merely re­port their find­ings.

The panel rep­re­sents dif­fer­ent spec­trums – ed­u­ca­tion, sport, busi­ness, com­mu­nity groups – and they come from dif­fer­ent parts of Porirua.

We can­vas widely to find peo­ple who know their com­mu­nity and their find­ings should not be dis­missed lightly.

In pre­vi­ous years, the KapiMana News edi­tion with the coun­cil­lor sur­vey has been ex­tremely well read.

We don’t sell our pa­per, so this time-con­sum­ing ex­er­cise should not be passed off as cir­cu­la­tion-build­ing. We have a rep­u­ta­tion for keep­ing city of­fi­cials and elected mem­bers hon­est, and this is a fo­rum for us to do that.

One sit­ting coun­cil­lor told us that the ‘‘dreaded re­port cards’’ made them all a lit­tle ner­vous and it was like tak­ing an un­opened school re­port home for your par­ents to open.

In re­cent sur­veys, Tim Manu, Robert Shaw and Liz Kelly have fared poorly. All have sub­se­quently slipped from the po­lit­i­cal scene.

Our pan­elists alerted those coun­cil­lors to im­pend­ing trou­ble in the polling booth, but those warn­ings went un­heeded.

Leggett, ’ Ana Cof­fey and Euon Mur­rell have been con­sis­tently good per­form­ers in our sur­veys and it’s no co­in­ci­dence they are go­ing strong around the coun­cil ta­ble to­day.

This time around, Litea Ah Hoi, who has been on the coun- cil since 2001, has rea­son for con­cern.

The panel felt her work ethic and visibility in public had dropped away.

We’re yet to find some­one who fin­ished bot­tom of the sur­vey heap and was pleased about it. The phone call to in­form them of the re­sult can be un­com­fort­able.

Legal ac­tion and re­trac­tion de­mands have some­times fol­lowed, though they’ve never come to any­thing.

Ah Hoi’s re­ply was that she was adding plenty to de­bates at the coun­cil ta­ble, on dis­trict li­cens­ing and be­hind the scenes in her com­mu­nity, and the votes she col­lected on polling day re­flected that.

She said it came down to per­cep­tion and that the sur­vey re­sult did not re­flect the time she put in to earn her $32,600.

Fair enough, but per­cep­tion is im­por­tant, and the feel­ing from the panel – which in­cluded two res­i­dents of the Eastern ward and a for­mer city coun­cil­lor who works in eastern Porirua – was clearly that her work ethic had dropped away alarm­ingly.

She would be ad­vised to look at her own per­for­mance, rather than talk­ing about a panel she said ‘‘don’t know me’’.

Ah Hoi, along with fel­low strug­glers Denys Latham, Tim Shep­pard and John Burke, need to turn it around in the next half of this tri­en­nium, oth­er­wise they will face prob­lems at the bal­lot box in 2016.

At the other end, Izzy Ford, Mur­rell and Cof­fey polled im­pres­sively, along with Leggett.

Their per­for­mances in the coun­cil cham­ber and the com­mu­nity earned them solid scores.

Over­all, our panel felt Porirua was be­ing well served by its coun­cil­lors.

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