Local News, Piha Opinion

Behind closed doors #2 . . .

22 Comments 18 September 2015

I thought they represented us – I think not !

Do you know these people?    Susie Vincent,  Peter Millington,  Phillipa Gregory, Diana Yukich,  Jean Berry, Ken Cowan,  Kubi Witten-Hannah (Chair), Mels Barton, Valera Koltsov, Jo Quatermass, Greg Presland, Ron Watson, Denise Yates, Sandara Coney, Steve Tollestrup.

These people meet every two months to discuss:

Plans: Unitary Plan, Waitakere Ranges Local Board Plan, Long Term Plan, Visitor Management Strategy Plan, West Coast Plan, Sign By-law Review, Unformed roads policy and more

Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area (WRHA) Issues: Welcome to WRHA signs, Foothills Walkways, Auckland Transport (AT) design guide for WRHA,  AT consultation, Fireworks,

Plus: A design guide to building in the bush is under development,  Redesigning the tsunami warning system as original not fit for purpose, Burton Drive, houses on sections illegally and a bunch of other stuff.

They’re called the  Combined Waitakere Ranges R&R Group and they meet at the Local Board office in Glen Eden.

Why would Jan Brown, Principle Policy Analyst at Auckland Council, receive the Minutes?  Why does Christine Rose receive the Minutes? All Waitakere Ranges Local Board and their PA receive the Minutes ?

PoliticsaI suggest they do not represent any residents or ratepayers.  They represent the Local Board and their own Agenda.  It’s disgusting that they meet, behind closed doors, and do not allow any observers  nor is any of their ‘doings’ in the public domain.

So by the time you and I have a say in anything it’s little wonder that so many think it’s a waste of time – most things have already been decided.  They’re meeting again this Monday

Your Comments

22 Comments so far

  1. Jan Brown is president of Huia R&R. All the Local Board topics are covered on open agendas of the Local Board. This is a networking meeting called by the R&R groups. The Local Board members are invited to attend to informally update R&R groups. Bobbie you always attended and were never asked to leave even though you did not represent Piha R&R.
    Sandra Coney

  2. Village Voice Editor says:

    The ‘rule’ used to be that you had to be on a R&R Committee to attend so when I was on the Piha R&R I always attended.
    I was never ‘allowed’ to represent Piha (speak) because that was usually Helen Pearce, Monique Davies (Olivier), Graham Cleghorn or Ken Cowan’s job because they know the rules and play by them – not something I’m known for.
    I thought the Local Board were invited for ‘advice’ if called upon. Why don’t you ‘update’ everyone in Waitakere instead of a closed group Sandra? Tell us about the ‘Unformed roads policy’ – there would be a few that would be interested in that or ‘property disposal in Titirangi’ ?
    It’s closed door democracy and a disgrace.

  3. Jas says:

    Kubi Witten-Hannah sits as Chair of this ‘Combined’ group but not as a member of the Karekare R&R. How does that work? This whole group merely play ‘swap the letterheads’ and self lobby each other. These fellow travellers merely tell each other what to lobby for and then call it
    ‘Community Engagement’. Community Estrangement more like…if you’re not Green or Labour Party affiliated then you don’t get a look in. This doesn’t mean that they care what ordinary Green and Labour types think though. If you’re not part of their little cabal then your use is merely to pop a tick next to their mates new so that they can continue troughing away.

  4. The disposal of the Titirangi property 490 South Titirangi Road was on our 10 September agenda. This property was sold by Waitakere City Council before amalgamation amidst a great deal of controversy. At our public meeting last week, It was item 14 in a report by Auckland Council Property Ltd. So it was discussed fully by the board in the public domain. Check the minutes where we passed resolutions about that property.The paper roads policy was dealt with by us months ago, once again on an agenda. You are making something of nothing here Bobbie.

    Sandra Coney
    Chair WRLB

  5. Village Voice Editor says:

    The point is “I suggest they do not represent any residents or ratepayers. They represent the Local Board and their own Agenda. It’s disgusting that they meet, behind closed doors, and do not allow any observers nor is any of their ‘doings’ in the public domain.”

  6. Well you can make all the suggestions you like, but you cannot produce any factual information to back them up. The truth is you will attack anything this Local Board does. You actively supported other candidates in the last election, and your attacks on the current Board are simply political.

    Sandra Coney

  7. Village Voice Editor says:

    Sandra: This is not about the Local Board. “They’re called the Combined Waitakere Ranges R&R Group and they meet at the Local Board office in Glen Eden.” . . . . . . “I suggest they do not represent any residents or ratepayers. They represent the Local Board and their own Agenda.”

  8. Jenny says:

    Sandra that’s disengenuous. I remember BC promoting some of your LB people and other candidates. This still exists online so she is demonstrably less partisan than you and your merry band of neo-feudal pranksters. All this is irrelevant though. You have an LB which clearly follows its own agenda. It’s the same agenda that its allies at council/Labour/Greens wants it to push. You are all connected via other groups again pushing the same agendas. You can’t get a cigarette paper between the desired outcomes of these connected groups because it is one agenda. Trusts, societies,
    R&Rs, LB, Labour and Green central government parties, the LB. Same group of friends and allies self-lobbying.

    Even as a Labour supporter at GE level I know that in practice your West Auckland set up doesn’t have my best interests at heart.

  9. Bobbie promoted Denise Yates, full stop. No one else she promoted for LB got in. Am I being disingenuous to suggest she might have a snitch against us? [ edit ]
    Sandra Coney

    Post Edited The subject is not the Local Board it is “They’re called the Combined Waitakere Ranges R&R Group and they meet at the Local Board office in Glen Eden.”
    BC arranged the only Candidates Meeting in Piha prior to the last Local Body elections.

  10. Juliet says:

    It always saddened me that you never ever bothered to attend any candidates meetings in Piha Sandra.


  11. Navel gazer. says:

    I would like to know how many financial members each of these R&R groups have. I know Karekare only had a handful last year. By joining up to form yet another ‘committee’ makes you think you have more power but it is democratically wrong. I don’t need to belong to an R&R. I vote for my Councillors. If I can’t attend or speak at such a meeting and yet Local Board members who get paid can attend and speak, something is not right. Most important though is how many this joint group represents.

  12. Bobbie, If you are going to censure what I write, you cannot talk about democracy.

    Sandra Coney

  13. Village Voice Editor says:

    Sandra: I didn’t censure [verb: express severe disapproval especially in a formal statement.] I edited it because you were way off subject.
    This is not about the Local Board it’s about the Combined Waitakere Residents and Ratepayers.

    • gregpresland says:

      Isn’t edit the same as censure normally?

      Besides Bobby I cannot understand your complaint.

      The ratepayers group meets regularly to discuss issues so that information can be sent out to the local R&R groups. There are reps from pretty well every R&R group.

      To suggest this is somehow undemocratic is really weird. The meetings could stop and then the flow of information would stop. So this is better how?

      • Village Voice Editor says:

        EDIT : prepare (written material) for publication by correcting, condensing, or otherwise modifying it.
        CENSURE: express severe disapproval of (someone or something), especially in a formal statement.

        Information is not forwarded to residents and ratepayers – the people.

        The world has social media now Greg. The Waitakere Ranges Local Board has a Facebook page as do most Residents and Ratepayers. The Board should USE IT to update the ratepayers and the R&Rs should use theirs to update their members. That way no shut door meetings and it’s all open for all to read.

        • gregpresland says:

          And we do and I have a local blog (futurewest.wordpress.com) where I regularly post about subjects. And all of our agendas are on line.

          And if this post is not about the local board then why do you mention our names under the title “I THOUGHT THEY REPRESENTED US – I THINK NOT !”

  14. Village Voice Editor says:

    Three clear indications this is about the Combined Waitakere Ratepayers & Residents Group (that meets with Local Board)
    1: They’re called the Combined Waitakere Ranges R&R Group and they meet at the Local Board office in Glen Eden.
    2: All Waitakere Ranges Local Board and their PA receive the Minutes ?
    3: I suggest they do not represent any residents or ratepayers. They represent the Local Board and their own Agenda.

  15. Not Ok says:

    +100 Jenny and Jas That is the crux of the issue. All linked – no seperation between decision making, and delivery. The head of Combined R&R who sets the agenda, is also a Trustee (along with some local boardmembers and the board secretary ) of Waitakere’s two biggest Contractors (million+$$$) which have unclear non-specific deliverables. The Board members make funding decisions but they and their assistants are also on delivery side as trustees or managers of the trusts which see most of our local expenditure. Combined ratepayers who are supposed to be the checks and balances of the democracy don’t ask questions about the setup as its in the boards office and the head of the group is the trustee herself and many combined R&R were family members of the board. A small group influencing the decisions, the conversation and the dollars. The legally prescribed way to engage with ratepayers is through the local plan consultation which comes in every mailbox which was grossly misleading . Very concerned about the impact on our community.

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