Coastal study chief rejects bias claim

17:40, Mar 20 2014

The deputy chairman of an expert panel reviewing contentious coastal hazard lines on the Kapiti Coast is defending the panel's impartiality on the eve of the release of their report.

The impartiality of panel chairman James Carley was challenged this week when councillors discovered he had co-authored a research paper with Roger Shand, the man who wrote the report on which the Kapiti hazard lines were based.

Coastal Ratepayers United secretary Salima Padamsey said the council passed a motion in April last year that the proposed science panel established to review the Shand report had to be totally independent of Dr Shand.

Mr Carley was appointed by council staff in July.

The panel's deputy chairman, Oregon State University oceanographer Paul Komar, rejected concerns about the independence of panel members.

"This has definitely not been the case. At the end of our December meeting in Kapiti, we had our first opportunity to discuss the issues and it quickly became apparent that the four of us were in full agreement . . . as to our recommendations.

"There was never any pressure placed on us as to our opinions, from others in the committee or from the outside."

He hoped the report and its recommendations being released today would guide the council and homeowners in working together towards managing the coastline.


The Dominion Post