Speaking rights refusals irk group

KELVIN TEIXEIRA
Last updated 07:24 14/02/2013

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Horowhenua Mail

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Repeated refusals to requests for speaking rights at Horowhenua District Council meetings are concerning the Horowhenua Ratepayers and Residents Association.

Association chairman Bryan Ten Have told the Horowhenua Mail that it did not seem to matter what the subject was, they were often refused.

"It seems to be happening every single meeting," he said.

At last Thursday's meeting Mr Ten Have requested speaking rights on three subjects. The council's chief executive David Ward said the requests were declined as they were simply "for information". The first related to a stormwater investigation in Okarito Ave in north-east Levin.

Mr Ward said information on the meeting's agenda identified the work being undertaken and a completion date, subject to cost options for further consideration.

The second subject was for information on Levin's new wastewater plant pipeline, which Mr Ward said was already under construction.

The third was the Lake Horowhenua Accord.

"The agenda simply identified a process that council is engaged in," Mr Ward said.

He added that there would be adequate opportunity for further discussion on all three subjects when the council received final reports.

Mr Ten Have believed that if their requests for speaking rights were refused, they should not have to wait until after the meeting had started to be told.

"The council demands that requests for speaking rights must be lodged by midday of the day of the meeting. Then they leave us all afternoon to formulate our submissions only to refuse the speaking rights after the meeting has started," he said.

"They should at least refuse those speaking rights early that afternoon."

Mr Ward said it was "intriguing" that Mr Ten Have made observations about the council's practice when another item on the meeting agenda advised that since last August, the council had been waiting for a response from the Horowhenua Ratepayers and Residents Association to a formal request for the number of its financial members.

"Interestingly, this simple question cannot be answered by Mr Ten Have who is the chair of the Horowhenua Residents and Ratepayers Association," Mr Ward said.

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- Horowhenua Mail

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