Councillors agree to QAC’s Irrelevant, pre-Covid 19 statement of intent
We Love Wakatipu Inc commentary, 23 April 2020
Despite all but one of the more than 70 Public Forum submissions strongly opposing it, eight of 11 QLDC councillors today voted to agree to QAC’s draft statement of intent, written in pre-Covid times. Two – Niamh Shaw and Niki Gladding – argued strongly and voted against it, also raising pertinent issues of financial risk and democratic process. Val Miller abstained because she couldn’t remember what the resolution was.
Quentin Smith pushed back against QAC board member Adrienne Young-Cooper’s suggestion that the joint steering group need not be brought back into discussions on the October SOI revision until late August. John MacDonald put forward the amendment to confirm QAC wouldn’t fund any pro-growth development before that is in place. But all councillors, again but for Crs Gladding and Shaw, rejected Cr Gladding’s suggestion they also stop QAC from committing to such funding. One could ask why?
Disappointed? Yes. Surprised? Not really. Communications with councillors prior to the meeting showed most were singing from the same song sheet with little chance of minds being changed.
We all did our democratic part, trying to get councillors to hear the community voice. Our community, through a couple of councillors, did make some gains. And even if they didn’t listen, the other councillors can’t have helped but hear the clamour for stronger governance, better democracy, proper legal process and real community input. Surely?
So, a big thank you to everyone who did input to Public Forum or contact your councillors. We will keep posting as relevant issues/items pop up. We look forward to a better process – and certainly a more fact-based, unbiased agenda item – next time around. October will no doubt roll along quickly.
Here’s the YouTube link for the meeting if you’d like to see how our councillors operate and what our community said during public forum.
Or for the shorter version, here is the Crux story.