Dinah Williams, former Councillor: Opposing the Sports Park

I am delighted to endorse a suite of comprehensive, thoughtful and forward-looking submissions from a diverse group of people who operate out of a very different paradigm from the Mayor and some of you Councillors. Not only have they identified the major flaws in the RSP Proposal, more importantly they have given you a positive way forward to be considered.

Plan B as it has been named has the potential to deliver the social imperatives of the RSP at a fraction of the cost. It is my submission that under the Local Govt No:2 Act you are obliged to consider alternatives as part of the Consultation Process. I acknowledge that you have offered and discussed three alternatives as required under the Act but they are simply variations on the same theme. This new alternative is radically different and we believe a better example of sustainability in terms of the environment and cost. With the Council debt sitting well over 100 million, to proceed with the preferred option at this time would be reckless, profligate and grossly unfair to rate payers. Also, have you learnt nothing from the Splash Planet fiasco?

Another major issue is the hypocrisy of the Council, on the one hand investing a lot of money in defence of a decision to prevent the owner of a seriously undersized property in the Plains zone, immediately adjacent to Havelock North from sub-dividing whilst on the other hand supporting some of the best Plains zone land – some 35 hectares in fact – being dedicated to the Sports Park.

Where, I ask you is the integrity and fairness in that. And, as the newly proclaimed advocate of sustainability, how does the Mayor reconcile such hypocrisy?

It really saddens me to say this but I need you to know that I am disgusted, disquieted and utterly disillusioned by Council’s performance on this issue. You seem to have forgotten that it is your role to serve the community; that means all of us. Most of you don’t seem to have realised that out in the real world, a new reality is emerging. Look at what is happening in America with the emergence of a man who puts people first and is focussed on their needs rather than feeding his own ego. Hallelujah for Barak Obama.

In conclusion, I hope you will do what you are required to do under Section 82, {1}{e}. I’ll remind you of that clause “that the views presented to the local authority should be received by the local authority with an open mind and should be given by the local authority, in making a decision, due consideration”. In simple English that means upholding the principles of natural justice and I’m sure all Hearings commissioners will agree with that.

If, however, you persist with this fool’s errand, I imagine the 2010 Election will commence forthwith and maybe, some of you will need to re-think as to where your energy would be best spent.

Dinah Williams

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