Keeping informed - Northern Advocate - 4 September 2009


Kaipara conversation - The Whangarei Report 3 September 2009


Open representation

There has been much talk of council unity, or take over, depending on who is doing the talking so three of us trundled off on Wednesday 26th August after two WDC Council meetings to the Kaipara District Council meeting to experience how others relate to their community.

The Mayor, as big as he is, does not don chains and robes or request the residents to stand for him to be noticed, but goes about his business in a professional and open manner.

The gallery was near to full with a large group of students who had been at council all morning and then catered for with lunch. Others were in support of the forthcoming presentation on the agenda.

After a welcome, the meeting opened with a Councillor making a presentation on a subject totally of their own choice and opinions and this sure was. Then surprise, a Public forum, yes; residents are allowed to address their elected with a presentation, this one about an idea of a walkway/cycle track at Pahi and the councillors listened and asked questions in relation to their own research.

The meeting continued with an agenda of some 181 pages supported with another 45 pages of Chief Executives report. With a representation of some 18,000 people, on comparison with the Whangarei Council meeting of 11 minutes with 5 agenda items (one being a report by police) the same day, we believed the meeting would last some 3 minutes, but with nothing to hide here, the meeting duration was some 115 minutes with much debate, questioning and good open discussion on the 24 plus items on their agenda.

Who is being kept informed?

Tomorrow we are off to the Far North to take in their meeting.


Warren Slater