In the scramble to get the Rates Bomb detonation device ready for 1 July Steve Ruru has tripped himself up again with more legal blunders.
Failure to comply with section 83 LGA
Council has again thumbed its now at the requirements of the LGA. This time it is in breach of section 83 which sets out the special consultative procedure, which is the procedure for inviting and hearing submissions on the draft LTP.
Section 83(1)(h) and (i) state that the Council must:
(h) ensure that any person who makes a submission on the proposal within that period—
(i) is sent a written notice acknowledging receipt of that person's submission; and
(ii) is given a reasonable opportunity to be heard by the local authority (if that person so requests); and
(i) ensure that the notice given to a person under paragraph (h)(i) contains information—
(i) advising that person of that person's opportunity to be heard; and
(ii) explaining how that person may exercise that person's opportunity to be heard;
In summary Council must:
• Give written notice acknowledge every submission made.
• In that notices it must advise the persons making the submissions that they have the opportunity to be heard, and they must explain how the opportunity to be heard can be exercised.
• The opportunity to be heard must be "reasonable".
Council has short-cut the legal procedure. It has only given notice to those who indicated in their submissions that they wished to be heard. It has ignored those who gave no indication at all.
This is illegal. Council should have given the opportunity to be heard to all submitters in the notice of acknowledgement of receipt (section 83(1)(i)).
Legal Eagle, along with many others I suspect, has still not received his notice of acknowledgement of receipt, nor received advice as his opportunity to be heard.
That is a fundamental breach of the special consultative procedure.
"Reasonable" opportunity to be heard
There are also others who received their acknowledgements of receipt and advice as the hearing dates but they only received them after the date of the hearings.
This would clearly not comply with the LGA requirement that each submitter must be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard.
Another fundamental breach.
Comments from other ratepayers about the illegalities and failure to comply with the LGA
URGENT ACTION REQUIRED
To Kaipara District Council:
Please put an immediate stop to your illegal activities in trying to rush through adoption of the 2012/2022 Long Term Plan.
I have just had a quick look at the 200 plus page staff recommendations on submissions submitted to Councillors on Friday afternoon 8th June which forms the basis for consideration as regards:
Special Meeting for Consideration of Submissions to the Draft Long Term Plan 2012/22. To be held at Dargaville at 9am Monday 11 June 2012.
Council in breach of the Act as follows:
The Local Government Act 2002 Section 83 1 (i)
Subsections (i) & (ii) advising person’s opportunity to be heard and how to exercise that right.
In my case written submission acknowledged in letter dated 1 June 2012 (received my mail 9 June 2012)
This letter did not contain any reference to hearings as required by Sect. 83 1 (i)
I received notification from KDC by phone 2 days prior to the hearing, I know of many submitters who received no notification whatsoever.
Council received 2914 submissions re the 2012/22 LTP. 217 on the Council internet form, 418 written free form and 2279 on what Council calls generic submissions.
The Council form is not preferred by most submitters as it tends to ignore most of the Draft LTP and instead concentrates on a few areas where Council wants a yes or no answer. The question often constructed so that any answer approves Council’s LTP proposal. For example:
“Council is proposing a significant rate increase. Should this be paid in the first year or spread over two years?”
This is like the old question “Have you stopped beating your wife”
Council form responses 92 Free form and generic form responses that neither of Council’s options acceptable totalled 2432!!
However Staff recommendations to Councillors give overwhelming weight to submissions of just 217 persons who used the Council form.
Council form question: Do you agree that the Council should participate in the Local Government Funding Agency etc.
91 agree, 30 neutral, 19 disagree. However 319 using a generic form disagree!!
Yet despite 338 disagreeing and only 91 agreeing, officer commentary states: “a clear majority who responded agreed”
Officer recommendation: Council accept.
Council’s clear preference is for submissions using it’s own form:
This is a clear breach of the Local Government Act 2002 Section 82 (1) (d)
In part, this section states: “with a reasonable opportunity to present these views to the local authority in a manner and format that is appropriate to the preferences and needs of those persons”
Council has breached the democratic and consultative purpose of the Act
I would think that the Act sections 3, 78 (1) and 83 (1) (i) apply.
I and many other residents and ratepayers at Mangawhai made verbal submissions on Friday 8th June 2012 at a special council meeting held in Mangawhai on that day.
I myself made a verbal submission at approx 11.50am.
However Councillors at 4.30pm that day were delivered a 232 page document relating to all submissions received. It is physically impossible that submissions given on the same day at Mangawhai were included in that document. It is also unlikely that verbal submissions on the three days prior were also given much consideration.
The final straw for myself personally is that after spending maybe up to 50 hours perusing a 423 page LTP and preparing a 20 min verbal submission, my democratic right to be heard and make verbal submission is being totally ignored by this autocratic and ultra vires Council.
Finally it would appear totally unreasonable to expect elected Councillors who have just been subjected to four consecutive days of verbal submissions to consider a 232 page document(covering over 2,900 written submissions plus hundreds of verbal submissions) received just 2 !/2 days before a critical meeting where they will vote on submissions received regarding the Long Term Plan for 2012/22.
Mangawai Resident and Ratepayer
To: Kaipara District Council, A-G, Mike Sabin
Below is my submission regarding the LTP, emailed to you on 27 May. Apart from the normal automated response, I have received no acknowledgement of my submission, nor have I been given a submission number or any other relevant information.
What is the position, please?
Brent Agnew :
Interesting....I called at the Mangawhai Village Service Station on my way to Warkworth this morning (Monday 11th June).....got talking to the owner of the Mangawhai Village Service Station/Mail Centre and he informed me of the large amount of mail received from the K.D.C. addressed to Mangawhai residents that arrived last Saturday 9th June 2012.
Apparently some people picking up their mail opened it whilst still at the Service Station/Mail Centre and were flabbergasted to find that the mail was informing them of the dates for the previous Thursday and Friday L.T.P. submission meetings with the K.D.C. that were held at “The Club”. It appears there were dozens of letters that didn’t arrive until Saturday (the day after the submission meetings closed). I haven’t talked to the owners of the Mangawhai Heads Mail Centre but I wouldn’t be surprised if they received late mail as well. Apparently the letters in the late mail were dated 7 June 2012 and as the last day of the submissions were held on Friday 8th May I suspect this was another deliberate K.D.C action to numb the Mangawhai ‘cry out” over the proposed K.D.C L.T.P.
Perhaps this needs to be made public and the K.D.C questioned about such underhand actions on their part.
Getting more p...ed off with K.D.C.
Below is the standard response that we received after submitting online our submissions x2.
I requested to be heard at the meetings.
Thank you for contacting the Kaipara District Council regarding: Submission on LTP . This is an automated response confirming your email has been received and will be responded to as soon as possible.
Kaipara District Council
09 439 3123
We were never at any stage after this contacted by council and advised where and when the hearings would be.