Article in Mangawhai Focus 8 August 2022

Mangawhai Gets Stung Yet Again

 

Most years Mangawhai rates increase by a greater percentage by far than the balance of the Kaipara District Council (KDC) area. 

This year Mangawhai rates are increasing on average 7.7% while the average across the district is 4.9%.  

This means that Mangawhai ratepayers face rate increases 57% higher than the district average.

And, that excludes another massive increase for all ratepayers from the Northland Regional Council (NRC) of 9.1%.  Over three years the NRC cumulative rate increase for everyone in Northland will be 50%. We are now in year two of three and the cumulative increase so far is a hefty 32%.

What is most galling about the Mangawhai increases is that so little debate takes place about the reasons, while all hell breaks loose in the west when massive increases in water by meter charges are proposed.  (Water meter charges are part of what is known as “targeted rates”, rates that are for specific services, usually to specific areas).

Because of users’ concerns, water-meter charges that were planned to increase by 17.7% were cut to 14.2% after a staff review.

But back in Mangawhai we can’t find any prior information about the targeted rate increases that we might have debated. Consequently, we were surprised by the Mangawhai wastewater rate increasing by 10.3% and stormwater charge by 24.4%.

We can’t blame Mangawhai’s councillors for this because right until the rate decision was made, no information appears to have provided, at council meetings or in council reports that specifically sets out these increases or the reasons for them.

The district average rate increase (excluding water supply) of 4.7% was made up of a 2.5% increase in general rates and 11.7% increase in targeted rates. Mangawhai’s general rate on average increased by 3.8% and targeted rates by 17.3%.

After the rates have been set the Council provides a lot of information in its Annual Plan. Among other things, it shows examples of rate increases across the district.

Here are some residential areas, land values and rates increases:

Dargaville:   3.71% to 5.46%     Land Value Sample:  $77,000 to $300,000    Rates:  $2,305 to $3,371

Kaiwaka:      4.78% to 5.47%     Land Value Sample:  $110,000 to $360,000  Rates:  $2,307 to $3,171

Paparoa:     1.18% to 1.96%      Land Value Sample:   $127,000 to $300,000 Rates:  $1,118 to $1,599

Mangawhai:  6.37% to 7.08%   Land Value Sample:  $170,000 to $530,000. Rates:  $2,645 to $$3,998

The Annual Plan shows that total revenue from the stormwater targeted rate is $2.353 million of which Mangawhai pays $1.574 million or 67%. KDC policy on stormwater charges is that 10% of stormwater network costs are funded by all ratepayers through general rates, and the remaining 90% of costs are funded by targeted rates that are “equalised” across the district.

That’s all well and good, but the document doesn’t say why charges overall have increased for storm water. When asked for more detail, the response from KDC was: “It is mainly in the maintenance and operations budget and an increase in management services for catchment plans. “

When there is a 24% increase that is not a good enough response. Ratepayers have a right to get more detail and to be assured that every possible effort is being made to keep costs to an absolute minimum. On the other hand, the reasons may well be legitimate. We just don’t know.

All of this goes back to a very loose budgeting system, as mentioned in this column a month ago.  With costs and staff numbers spiralling to levels that are concerning, councillors need to firstly understand why all costs are increasing, and secondly be able to scrutinise and where necessary control staff expenditure recommendations.  

Also, with such disparity between values of properties in Mangawhai compared to the west, it is time KDC took up councillor Jonathan Larsen’s idea of having a differential rate for Mangawhai compared to other areas.  After all, when 31% of all KDC expenditure is spent on roading and that’s taking place mainly in the west, there are equity questions to be asked, he says.

“My contention is that a pensioner in Mangawhai doesn’t necessarily have more ability to pay than one at Te Kopuru, but more to the point why should they pay more for basic services such as a road to their gate and operation of the administration of the council machine,” says Mr Larsen.

With an election looming and the positions of Mayor, deputy mayor and Chief Executive vacant, there is a real opportunity for Mangawhai people to make changes to outdated thinking on spending and funding. But that requires ratepayers to take an active interest in the budgeting and planning procedures in place, the skills candidates for mayor and councillors bring to the table, and what vision they have for the district.

During the upcoming election campaign, Mangawhai Matters will be asking all council candidates questions about how they would go about managing the controversial rates issue and what information ratepayers should expect prior to making decisions.

 

 

18 July 2022

Beware of Councillors Bearing Gifts

You know its Local Body election year when the Kaipara District Council drops its proposed 7.13% rate increase by 2.27 percentage points to 4.86%.  

But in the next rating year 2023/2024 the increase is projected to jump from a forecast in the Long-Term Plan of 3.92% to 9.95%.

In fact, ratepayers will be worse off by more than $600,000 on a like-for like basis. 

Examination of reasons to change in rates

The reasons given for this year’s decrease are simple. The administration was told by the Mayor to reduce the rates. The pressure had been coming on from councillor Victoria La Varis-Woodcock, a rival candidate for Mayor, and from Jonathan Larsen who was, and continues to be, deeply concerned about the ratepayers’ ability to pay big increases.   

Surprising savings of $1.990 million were found in next year’s budget that supposedly included:

  • $440,000 following a review of “support costs (stationery, printing etc)”

  • $500,000 Employee benefit savings (staff not employed or not replaced)

  • $300,000. Rates collected for an expanded waste collection system not used.

  • $250,000. Dargaville library trust seed funding set aside, not required.

These were offset by additional staff costs in 2022/2023 of $1.155 million, (of which $880,000 is a continuing annual cost), as follows: 

  • One-off retention bonuses or the like of $275,000 or an estimated $1,312 per  employee. There is little doubt KDC is having huge issues retaining staff with staff turnover currently at 27%.

  • An increased wage bill of $880,000, or $98,000 per employee for an additional nine new staff to be employed. These positions include a new Climate Change Officer to join the Climate Change manager employed last year, a Whenua Māori rates officer, three new accountants and a business analyst, Health and Safety admin person, a building compliance officer, and a “library specialist.” 

It is interesting to note that the total KDC’s current remuneration bill is $17 million including the cost of the planned nine new employees. When the staff numbers increase to 214 staff, that is an average cost per employee of almost $75,000 or $1,214/rated property.

But all these “savings” referred to above have not been the result of a ruthless staff taking a big knife to the budget. They are actually budget errors that have been corrected, or events that haven’t happened yet.  No one has sat down and cut budgets back.  Its also not true what the Mayor said in a rival publication last week: “While the cost of living crisis bites, council has taken hard decisions to help Kaipara people along in these challenging times…”  The decisions weren’t hard; they just reversed over-budgeted items.

To learn that some costs such as support costs (printing, stationery, vehicle, training, travel, subscriptions and consumables) have been overbudgeted by $440,000 p.a. –which is approximately 1% of rates--- indicates quite clearly that there has been some of what is known as “feather-bedding” in KDC’s budget.  Especially as this saving is “on-going”.  

The comment from KDC about how this saving has come about: “We have compared spending over the last three years compared to the current year. “ 

Our question would be why has this taken so long to identify these savings? The next question is where has the money gone for these “support costs” items that were grossly over-budgeted? Has it been an opportunity to have a “slush fund” to plug budget holes or errors?  

When there are such gross errors over a period of time, the ratepayers have a right to be suspicious.

What’s Behind the 2023/2024 Proposed Rate Increase of 9.95%

The reason given for the planned dramatic increase in rates in 2023/2024 of 9.95% or $4.260 million has been given as the proposed “Waste Minimisation” scheme which has been postponed a year. 

The Long-Term Plan stated that waste minimisation (or controversially replacing rubbish bags with recycling crates) would cost an average increase of a mere $146 per year from Year One (increasing to $164 at year 10) and cost $400,000 to $500,000 over five to 7 years for the crate purchases.  

That reality is far removed from the proposed $4.260 million as a yearly on-going cost that we are told is embedded into rates from the waste minimisation scheme. 

At a recent KDC meeting to discuss rate increases, the detail of the new scheme was not given.

So, there is a lot of explaining yet to do on a 2023/24 budget that we hope will be discussed and reviewed critically by a new Mayor and a new Council following the October election. 

Some Smart things for KDC To Be Doing Now

(a)  Zero Based Budgeting

Used extensively in the business world, this is a system of budgeting that builds the business from the ground up every year and doesn’t merely use last year’s figures and adds new costs.  It critically looks at all costs and what did and didn’t work. Nothing is sacrosanct. 

Such a system would prevent serious over-budgeting items such as the “support costs” mistakes.

(b)   A More Robust Budgeting System

Although KDC has an independent chairman for its Audit, Risk, and Finance committee, it is well known that this committee doesn’t get down “deep and dirty” into budget detail or run the budget process in any arms-length manner. Councillors, as representatives of ratepayers, have a responsibility to find out and review the reasons for massive rate increases. Of course, our elected members are reliant on KDC staff reports and Mangawhai Matters has clearly shown some of these reports need much more detail to enable Councillors to make good decisions. It is also OK for councillors to ask questions. At a recent meeting the Mayor told a councillor that they should ask questions prior to a meeting rather than during a meeting, effectively shutting down discussion.

(c)   Remember that Everyone is Hurting and Its Going to Get Worse

Quite frankly watching council meetings on line when rates are discussed, it is hard to get the sense that every councillor is deeply concerned about the impact of such a large increase as 9.95% on ratepayers. If every organization or supplier increased their costs every year by 10%, New Zealand would go broke as a nation. 

Comments from the recent meeting that if “you can’t grow your business equal to or faster than inflation, then it’s not a good look for the future” have no place during times of unheard-of inflation and misery for a wide range of ratepayers through ever increasing added costs. KDC is not a business. KDC is a cost-centre for providing services to its community and any growth should be restricted to providing better core community services rather than what KDC staff think would be nice to have. 

(d)   Do we really need some of the staff taken on in the last few years?

KDC needs to be looking at some of its staff roles as the numbers have ballooned out in recent years. Why do we have six people in the PR or communications dept? Is KDC that worried about its image?  Every position needs a critical review. Do we need two Climate Change staffers or three Iwi liaison staff to name but a few opportunities for savings? 

(e)   Analyse the 27% staff turnover

This is an appalling figure that has huge cost implications in both salaries, redundancy payments and ongoing loss of knowledge.  Given the pay rates above, the question needs to be asked whether this has more to do with work culture within KDC . Perhaps a change of leadership will improve this.

Mangawhai Matters’ role

As the KDC election approaches Mangawhai Matters will be seeking answers from candidates for the three Kaiwaka/Mangawhai ward seats, and from mayoral candidates, about how they plan to hold rate increases at reasonable levels and how they plan to hold the organization accountable.  

Only One Long Term Answer

The mayor made an insightful comment at the conclusion of the recent debate about rates, by saying there were many great challenges for KDC with a population of only 26,000, and only 14,000 ratepayer properties. He is right. The current thinking about servicing needs to be scaled to the needs of Kaipara’s small communities, focusing on local solutions to the limited needs of our communities, and managing growth through incremental, scalable infrastructure rather than aiming for transformation through large-scale “me-too” projects. We need elected members who will demand open and reliable information from KDC and seek more efficient and effective use of our limited funds.

 

Hundreds cannot vote in the upcoming Kaipara District Council/Northland Regional Council (NRC) election

 

How to Get on the Electoral Roll

 

Are you one of the hundreds of Mangawhai holiday-home owners who are not enrolled to vote in the Kaipara District Council (KDC) elections in October this year?

If this is the case, then you are giving up your democratic right to vote at a critical time in our town’s history. You need to enrol soon so you can vote.

The upcoming development at Mangawhai Central, the District Plan and where future development will be sited, as well as on-going important decisions around infrastructure (including schools, parks, wastewater, civic amenities and harbour use) are all issues facing Mangawhai over the next decade. For the first time Mangawhai and adjacent Kaiwaka has three councillors representing the area known as the Mangawhai-Kaiwaka ward. You will be voting for three councillors who comprise one-third of those sitting at the council table following the local body elections in October. You will also be voting for a new mayor as the incumbent Jason Smith has indicated he will resign in October and stand for the Northland seat for National at the next election.

What Happens When You Buy a Property in Mangawhai?

You will only be automatically enrolled as a KDC/NRC elector if your Mangawhai property is listed as your primary address when national elections are held. If your purchase is for a holiday home or rental property, and you remain on the parliamentary roll elsewhere, you will not automatically be added to the KDC roll for local body elections.  In this instance you will not be able to vote in the Kaipara or NRC elections.

To become eligible to vote, you must fill in what is known as an “Enrolment Form for Ratepayer Electors” and send it to the Electoral office at the Kaipara District Council. A PDF version of this form that must be filled in and submitted to the Electoral Officer at the Kaipara District Council, can be downloaded here.  The form requires thought and time to complete, is in three parts over two pages. In essence the form requires joint property owners or trustees of a Trust to nominate one person only to vote, then get approval from the other joint property owner (s) or Trustees.

Alternatively you can elect your Mangawhai address as your primary home on the national electoral register. 

 

Phone assistance is available in completing the form from Election Services, a private company assisting local councils with enrolment and elections. Call toll-free 0800 ENROL NOW (0800-36-76-56).

If you have any questions about enrolment or the upcoming local body elections, please write mangawhaimatters@gmail.com and we will get you answers as quickly as possible.

Statistics on Eligible Voters

At the 2019 election, it was estimated by KDC that only 86.27% of those eligible to be enrolled had their names on the electoral roll.  With more second homes and new houses in Mangawhai than any other area of Kaipara that could indicate that at least 500 eligible voters are not on the electoral roll. 

Earlier this year Kaipara District Council sent letters to 11,000 property owners encouraging them to get on the roll if they are eligible. We do not have a success rate available for that campaign.

Percentage voting history

Only between 43% and 49% of the eligible voters voted in the 2019 Kaipara District Council elections. The Mangawhai Kaiwaka ward percentage vote was only 37%, but it must be remembered that this was not a vote for councillors (as only two stood for two positions), only for Mayor.

Nevertheless, these are appalling statistics and indicate more than half the eligible population was not engaged with what was happening in their own town. There is so much happening here that we need an engaged population if we want to influence the environment we live in.

Some Dates to Put In Your Diary

Friday July 15, 2022:  The current Electoral Roll is open for inspection to check if your name in on the roll. Also, nominations for Mayor and for the three Mangawhai/Kaiwaka ward councillors open.
Friday August 12, 2022: Nominations for candidates closes at 12 noon.
Monday September 12, 2022: Electoral Officer certifies final Electoral Roll. You have until this date to make sure your name is on the roll if you are eligible to vote.
Election Day is Saturday October 8, 2022 although eligible voters can vote by mail  from September 16, 2022. 

Update from Doug Lloyd, email 30 Apr 2022

Wow what an awesome community we all live in. The response to our appeal for financial help was amazing.
We have now been able to pay all our debts and are free and clear. The committee can now relax and move onto our next projects. Ian, Joel, Rachael, Phil, Carol, Peter, Vern and myself would like to say thank you very much for not only your financial support but also for the encouragement and motivation you have given us throughout the eighteen months.

We are now fired up for our next projects:

The Draft District Plan will be released for review, and submissions (if necessary) in June. The District Plan determines resource management issues, objectives, policies, methods and rules which control and manage the  ongoing development of the Kaipara district. The plan is reviewed every ten years so it is crucial that it meets the community's requirements.
We will be reviewing it in detail.

The KDC has set up a Wastewater Steering committee and Joel Cayford is Mangawhai Matters  representative on this group. They have held their initial meeting and we will keep you posted on progress.

Update from Doug Lloyd, email 26 Mar 2022

At long last we can share the outcome of our Environment Court mediation. It is an amazing outcome for the community.
After 18 months contesting Mangawhai Central Limited’s Plan Change 78 we now have a consent order that is to be signed off by the Environment court that gives Mangawhai Matters everything they asked for at the original hearing plus significant changes.  Some of the significant changes will see the minimum residential lot size increased from 350 square metres to 500 square metres. Equally, if not more important, MM has had provisions added to the Plan Change that will ensure subdivision will better reflect the coastal small-town character of Mangawhai.  MM has negotiated changes that mean the developer must pay for infrastructure required to serve the development, including wastewater; and strong stormwater controls to protect and enhance streams, wetlands and ecology within the site and surrounding environment. 

A Poor Plan

“We could not believe it when Commissioners and Kaipara District Council signed off Mangawhai Central’s Private Plan Change 78 almost two years ago. It was such a poor plan. It would’ve been bad for Mangawhai, destroyed its coastal character, damaged the estuary, and risked becoming a financial burden on ratepayers long into the future as it would potentially enable up to 2000 new homes without many of the planning controls that apply to the rest of Mangawhai.

Significant Outcomes for community

This result isn’t just good for Mangawhai.  We believe the outcome will be a much better development for the developer as well as for the people who buy into it. And finally, Kaipara Council has been forced to step up, take community input into its decisions seriously, and change the way it does things.”

Financial contributions

Changes to the financial contribution provisions of the plan have been agreed.  They mean that the timing of subdivision and development have to be coordinated and the developer has to meet its component of the costs of the infrastructure required to enable it.

Wastewater

The Operative District Plan contains existing provisions for wastewater which apply to PC78 and throughout the district.  They mean resource consents for reticulated development can be declined if there is insufficient capacity in KDC’s wastewater infrastructure system. A range of changes to PC78 have also been agreed to strengthen the wastewater infrastructure provisions. Comprehensive rules, discretions, and assessment criteria require the provision of a wastewater network, along with assessment of the capacity of the existing and planned network and the wastewater treatment plant prior to any Resource Consent being granted.

Water supply

The operative District Plan contains existing provisions for water supply which apply to the PC78 site and throughout the district. The parties agreed to amendments (including to the Chapter 16 zone description, objectives, policies, and rules) to address matters raised by Northland Regional Council.

In addition, changes to PC78 have been agreed to strengthen the water supply infrastructure provisions by specifying minimum volumes (50,000 litres) required for onsite storage.  Where there are no water tanks, a private water supply is to be provided.  This means reticulating higher density sites or activities where it is not possible to provide a tank water supply onsite. Reticulated supply would have to meet a range of conditions, including demonstrating it will meet the legislative requirements for drinking water which includes storage, treatment, and ongoing management. Also, legislation recently coming into force requires the provision of a suitable stand-by supply, which will prove a challenging and expensive hurdle for reticulation.

Stormwater

Changes have been agreed to strengthen the stormwater infrastructure provisions and further protect ecological values of the estuary.

Coastal Character

A range of changes were achieved to the policy framework, which provides the guidance for assessing proposals that do not meet the rules, and the provision of rules that ensure site development provides for such things as the location of garages and water tanks. The Design and Environmental Guidelines now require residential lot design at the time of subdivision to ensure sites can accommodate a complying dwelling, water storage, onsite parking, onsite manoeuvring, and private outdoor living spaces.

These provisions will ensure that future subdivisions will reflect Mangawhai’s small town coastal character.

Lot size/density

The parties have agreed to change the minimum lot size and density rules for Residential from 350m2 to 500m2. This is a huge gain because even before PC78 the original provisions for Estuary Estates in the Operative District Plan provided for 500 sections which could be as small as 400sqm.

Transport

Changes to transport provisions have been agreed (including relating to roading design, parking, manoeuvring, and cycling and pedestrian facilities and connectivity). The Structure Plan map was amended to depict greater levels of potential connectivity to Old Waipu Road and pedestrian and cycle connections to the north by wetland 1. Should development be able to accommodate more than 850 dwellings, the agreement requires a comprehensive transport plan to provide for any roading investments needed to cope with the additional traffic before further development can proceed.

Where to Now

We were pleasantly surprised by the open-minded and constructive approach that Mangawhai Central took during the mediation process are pleased that the community is not faced with the further uncertainty, time, and costs associated with having to argue our case before the Environment Court.

 “Given the results, we were right to challenge the Planning Commissioners’ willingness to accept the somewhat bland evidence of some of the experts appearing for Mangawhai Central and KDC, and their dismissal of the knowledge, expertise and insights of local residents.  The fact that the Council was then prepared to accept and defend a plan that would create demands on infrastructure and funding not currently budgeted for (an issue not appreciated by Commissioners) was also unfortunate.”

The positive outcome of this process is that we are now optimistic that the dialogue established between MCL and Mangawhai Matters can now be continued to ensure ongoing community input as the project progresses.

Update from Doug Lloyd, email 16 Mar 2022

WOO HOO ... WE DID IT!

Mediation is completed and the Environment Court consent order has been signed off.
It approves everything we asked for in the original hearing that the commissioners rejected, plus more.
The Mangawhai Matters team believes this is a huge victory for the community and the future landscape of the district
I will summarise the outcome of the mediation and get it out to you in the next day or so.
I would especially like to acknowledge and thank Joel Cayford and Phil McDermott for the hundreds of hours they have put into this project reading mountains of documents and emails analysing data and strategising our next moves. Without them this appeal would never have succeeded.
I would also like to thank Ian Margan who was in the thick of all the mediation and our principal sponsor. Ian was also our main fund raiser. Three cheers for these guys.
There was also a small group of people who gave significant donations that I do not want to name without their permission. Without them we would not have been able to continue through the whole process. Thank You
To all our members and supporters, thank you so much all for your support, both moral and financial. We have been fighting this battle for 20 months now and your support has been really appreciated by the team. It kept us going when the process got quite draining and demoralising.
I will get you the detail in a couple of days
Keep Safe and Thank You
Doug

Update Email from Doug Lloyd, Sunday 2 May 2021

On Wednesday  KDC Councillors approved the Mangawhai Central Plan change as per the Commissioners’ recommendations. This was a given as legally  the council is obliged to adopt the recommendations of the commissioners.

Our efforts resulted in  getting some change such as the requirement for a reticulated water supply for the smaller sections, design guidelines to prevent a hodge podge development and stopping Old Waipu road becoming an access road. Most importantly we alerted the council to a number of issues that the elected councillors were unaware  of or misinformed on. Hopefully they are looking at addressing these and we will keep reminding them.

The National Policy Statement that was released by the government in November in response to the housing crisis forces Councils to release land for development and to make it easier for developers to obtain consents for developments. This policy statement that came just prior to the submission hearings made it almost impossible for the commissioners to not approve the development.

However there are still a number of outstanding issues that concern us and we are consulting with our experts on the feasibility of appealing the decision. We have one month to appeal  and at the moment everything is pointing towards an appeal.  Unfortunately at this stage we need to keep the basis of the appeal close to our chests. We will share  our appeal  with you once it is submitted.

Last week the MM team  presented a paper to the KDC on the issue of representation. The local issue here is that we are badly underrepresented with only two elected councillor’s out of nine representing the ratepayers east of SH1. The electoral officer who is responsible for most of NZ councils said it was the most comprehensive and well reasoned paper he has ever seen on the issue of representation. The councillors were also impressed with the paper. Consultation on representation for the district will take place over the next few months. Once consultation starts it is difficult for the council to make major changes, That is why we got in early,  before they publish their options.

I will distribute our paper in a few days for those who are interested.

Regards

Doug Lloyd

 

Mangawhai Matters - Part-time property owners: You need to enrol!

7 January 2021

Democracy is precious. Have your say in the way we live here.

The Kaiwaka/Mangawhai Ward, which takes in Mangawhai and the area to west as far as Kaiwaka, has two of the eight councillors on the Kaipara District Council. A significant proportion of Mangawhai owners are not full-time residents although many spend long periods here. The Kaipara Electoral Roll does not fairly reflect the effective population of Magical Mangawhai. This then means we are under-represented around the Council table with ongoing negative outcomes for our town.

Many people who also live in places like Auckland and own a second property in Mangawhai don’t realise that they can vote in council elections and referendums as ratepayers.

Why is it important to enrol?

Retaining the liveability character of Mangawhai in the face of relentless growth is in everyone’s interest. The only way that we can sensibly future manage Magical Mangawhai’s character, amenities and services is by ensuring our voices are heard when the votes are counted.

Around 1000 out of 3700 dwellings in and around Mangawhai were recorded as second homes in the 2018 Census so this is a significant group with an interest in the future of Mangawhai.

The Council’s Electoral Roll divides eligible electors into:

· Residential Electors - those who live in the Kaipara District Council area and vote here for parliamentary and local body elections.

· Ratepayer Electors - Those who vote as residents elsewhere in Parliamentary and local elections, but who have also registered as ratepayers to vote in KDC elections because they own a property here. These ‘absentee local body electors’ can still have one Kaipara vote for each second home.

The 2019 Roll shows that 259 people enrolled as ‘absentee electors’ for Kaipara District – 169 were in the Kaiwaka/ Mangawhai ward. However a quick review of the roll shows that around 85 per cent of owners of eligible homes have not registered to vote locally. If you have a property and spend time in Mangawhai then you are very much affected by the Council’s decisions.

 

So, what do you do if you are eligible to vote for the Council, but you are not on the roll? You need to enrol. Here’s how:

· You can download the Enrolment Form For Ratepayers Electors  This details the information you need to complete and where to send the form to have it verified and your name included on the roll.

Alternatively, phone Mangawhai Matters Committee member Peter Nicholas on 021 066 5746 and he will email you the form. You can also obtain it by contacting the Kaipara District Electoral Officer by email at ratepayer@electionservices.co.nz or go to the KDC website

 

There are strict criteria to note when you sign up as an ‘absentee elector’. While this is a bit complicated and time-consuming, remember that democracy is precious. Your vote can make very little difference in Auckland but you can make a real difference here. Stand up.  Have your say.. Or don’t complain when your lifestyle and property value is devalued by decisions from a Council that can seem focused elsewhere.

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Mangawhai Central’s Plan Change 78 independent commissioner hearing; three days of evidence, questions and submissions supported by a strong crowd of locals. PHOTO/JULIA WADE

The misrepresentations in respect of wastewater capacity made by KDC officers during the process for Plan Change 78, and the earlier supermarket consent process, reveal the ugly underbelly of the KDC.


In both instances KDC officers made statements in respect of the capacity of the Mangawhai Wastewater Scheme (MCWWS) that were indisputably incorrect.  More than that, those making the statements must have known that the statements that they were making were incorrect.  They also knew that the Hearing Commissioners would be misled if they relied on those statements.

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The Hearing on the Mangawhai Central plan change was held over Mon, Tues, and Wed this week. Unfortunately it ran out of time.

The KDC and Mangawhai Central now have to respond to the presentations made at the hearing by letter in the next two or three weeks. A final half day hearing will be held at the end of Jan or early Feb. The commissioners will take two months after that to make their decision.

 

The submissions and presentations opposing the development were extremely good and the Commissioners admitted to being impressed. One of our expert witnesses said that over his career he had attended in excess of 500 hearings and this was the best community driven submission and presentation he had ever seen.

Also a huge thank you must go out to the individual submitters who were not connected to Mangawhai Matters. All their presentations were coherent  to the point and consistent. The Commissioners kept hearing the same theme over and over again.

 

It has been a massive project over a very short time. To the Mangawhai Matters team a huge thank you.

To those of you who have supported us and contributed to make it possible also a bigger than huge thank you. You live in a very special community.

 

We will not know what the commissioners decide, however from their reactions we are pretty sure the Plan Change will not go ahead in its present form if at all.

 

If you wish to understand what happened at the hearing in more detail please click here

Maori ward in Kaipara improves "democratic wellbing"

Kaipara Distric Council last month voted to establish a new Maori ward ahead of the 2022 local government elections.  Mangawhai Matters chair Doug Lloyd comments.

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Mangawhai Central Hearing Update

The hearing for the Mangawhai Central Plan Change (PP78) will be held in the Domain Hall on

Monday 23rd               10.00am to 5.00pm      

Tuesday 24th                 8.00am to 5.00pm

Wednesday 25th          8.00am to 5.00pm

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Letter from Doug Lloyd sent Wed, Nov 4, 2020 at 10:09 AM by email

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MANGAWHAI MATTERS MEETING

3 October 2020