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FACTS PLEASE

 |  Elisabeth Resl  | 
The Informer’s Through the Portal opinion piece – ‘Local Authorities to act with Integrity’ took a critical stance towards the process TCDC used to establish Māori Wards in our region and has been triggering a flurry of diverse responses. The Mayor got in first with his weekly newsletter accusing the author of making “a large number of inaccurate and factually incorrect statements, along with some inflammatory and offensive rhetoric’ and that this ‘has the potential to ignite into more serious threats and actions’. Strong views on the article, from diverse perspectives, were expressed through Letters to the Editor. Good to see that common sense prevailed in the end and no one was further pushed into apologies, a move that would have raised serious concerns with most constituents. After all scrutiny of Council processes is necessary and legitimate. And this is the point: the article was specifically about the integrity of the decision-making process and whether this sat comfortably within what we commonly understand as democratic process. The merits of the decision have not been questioned, however vigorously they have been commented on. While the merits question is worth a broadly-based, well-informed discussion my concern is that the Council has not responded to the process issue. Can the Council please clearly state what the ‘inaccurate and factually incorrect statements’ in the article were? What was the rationale, the cost benefit analysis, the responses from consultation, if any, that underpinned this decision? Allegations need to be substantiated with clear statements of facts. During Waitangi weekend I heard an interview with a Council representative on Coromandel’s CFM. The Council speaker seemed to say that yes, the Māori Ward decision has been taken, but the Council is embarking on asking the community what their views are on the matter. Really? So, the ratepayers who not only pay for all the process related costs are now expected to pay for a PR initiative that gauges their views on a done deal? If I heard this correctly, this is dark comedy material.

The Mayor got in first with his weekly newsletter accusing the author of making “a large number of inaccurate and factually incorrect statements, along with some inflammatory and offensive rhetoric’ and that this ‘has the potential to ignite into more serious threats and actions’.

Strong views on the article, from diverse perspectives, were expressed through Letters to the Editor.

Good to see that common sense prevailed in the end and no one was further pushed into apologies, a move that would have raised serious concerns with most constituents. After all scrutiny of Council processes is necessary and legitimate.

And this is the point: the article was specifically about the integrity of the decision-making process and whether this sat comfortably within what we commonly understand as democratic process. The merits of the decision have not been questioned, however vigorously they have been commented on.

While the merits question is worth a broadly-based, well-informed discussion my concern is that the Council has not responded to the process issue.

Can the Council please clearly state what the ‘inaccurate and factually incorrect statements’ in the article were? What was the rationale, the cost benefit analysis, the responses from consultation, if any, that underpinned this decision? Allegations need to be substantiated with clear statements of facts.

During Waitangi weekend I heard an interview with a Council representative on Coromandel’s CFM. The Council speaker seemed to say that yes, the Māori Ward decision has been taken, but the Council is embarking on asking the community what their views are on the matter.

Really? So, the ratepayers who not only pay for all the process related costs are now expected to pay for a PR initiative that gauges their views on a done deal?

If I heard this correctly, this is dark comedy material.


Recent Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

New Zealand political system

It was with dismay that I read Trevor Ammundsen’s muddled hypothesis about why one does not have to be Māori to stand in a Māori Ward (May 21). Trevor mightn’t have enough familiarity with New Zealand history to realise that this rule has always been standard. Even at a national level, one does n…
Letters to the editor

Where are the Short-Term Plans?

Never mind the “Long Term Plan”,  what’s the short term plan for fixing the broken public toilets at Cooks Beach which have been out of action for months?
Letters to the editor

Not a Melting Pot

I believe the author of the article, issue 1106, 21 May, is deliberately or insensitive to the fact that he is actually stirring the pot of interracial and cultural understanding. This is benefitting his own agenda of suppressing Māori people and their human rights.
Letters to the editor

QUESTION WHETHER THE EARTH HAS MOVED

Some ink has been spread across the written page since the correspondence between us and I had imagined, I would have an answer to my second question in the Letters to the Ed pages in the last two Informer issues  …but no. Considering the earth has moved concerning the article (front page The In…
Letters to the editor

Survey reveals concern over Fast-track Approvals Bill

A new Horizon Research survey (1000 respondents, margin of error +- 3%) has revealed serious concerns among National Party voters about the proposed Fast-Track Approvals Bill and its potential to undermine democracy and enable corruption. The poll shows that 76% of National voters are worried th…
Letters to the editor

Accent the positives – negate the negative

I believe that as a country we must, as New Zealand citizens, work with the positives but first the negatives need to be called out for what they are. The negatives persist throughout the media at present. I have listed some negative issues that are currently circulating throughout the media chan…
Letters to the editor

No to integration or blending

Kia ora. I sincerely hope that Trevor Ammundsen’s views, What we need is a great big melting pot, 21 May, does not reflect the views of our wider community. His suggestion that we need to do away with barriers of geography, ethnicity and class that prevent peaceful co-existence. He calls this pro…
Letters to the editor

Corruption with Fast Track Bill

I see Trevor Ammundsen did not take up the offer to expose potential corruption arising from the Coalition government’s Fast-Track law. Never mind, Trevor has a fresh Fast Track corruption scandal to take up in his column. This latest one involves a NZ First donor submitting amendments to directl…
Letters to the editor

The Values Debate

In a Letter to the Editor (“Incorrect Re our Residents and Ratepayers”, 28 May), the writers state that they are distressed and disturbed to have been (in their view) wrongly associated (Editorial, The Informer, 21 May) with key goals as expressed by the ‘Alliance’ because these do not align with…
Letters to the editor

About rover’s letter

I was lucky to have my letter in The Informer in October last year. It was not only words, but also a photo of me, so everyone recognised me when out walking. Rover – so many people and dogs are wondering who you are. Please try to get a photo in the great Informer – especially for me to be info…