Keith McConnell:: There is a growing frustration and anger in the community

There is a growing frustration and anger in the community about the six members of City Vision repeatedly voting as a block to drive through any initiative they want or suppressing any contrary initiatives.

The example of the former is the Motion moved by Member Graeme Gunthorpe on having a periodic cycle lane over the harbour Bridge and the later of Member Sarah Trotman seeking an independent investigation into the felling of the Western Springs Forest - this initiative failed after no other member was prepared to second it, meaning that there was not even a debate on the initiative.

On every issue of substance, City Vision caucus their position so that any debate is held behind closed doors and then they vote accordingly. Furthermore, we do not know who else attends the caucus and has influence over the decision on how to vote. This situation is even worse than Workshops not being open to the public - at least material presented at the Workshops can be obtained under the Official Information Act.

The fact is that the 40% of constituents (who did vote), elected six City Vision members to represent them. However, it is also a fact that if a proportional representation system applied, City Vision would have 3 members, C&R 3 members and depending how the independents organised themselves, 1 member. Thus, it would be unlikely that any one party could dominate the Board as is the case at the moment.

While the electoral system remains as it is, if City Vision and C&R had any regard for the principles of democracy, one way to avoid the present situation is for them to agree between themselves that they would only nominate a maximum of four candidates each at the next election.

I don’t hold any great hope that this will happen so the community will have to continue its “guerrilla style” approach.

www.keithforwaitemata.com

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