Auckland Council’s management of its non-existent marinas policy is going from bad to worse.
At the council planning committee’s meeting a fortnight ago, chair Cllr Chris Darby allowed opponents of marina sales time to speak in the public input slot but rejected the speaking request from Empire Capital Ltd property & development manager David Boersen for being too late with his request.
Anyone wanting to address that committee on marinas was going to be late with their request, because the council didn’t post the relevant material on its online agenda until the morning of the meeting.
One group that did provide input to the planning committee, the Auckland Marine Users Association through chair Richard Steel, applied the previous Thursday to speak, but had less than 24 hours to prepare its presentation because of the lateness of the marinas report.
At the weekend, Mr Boersen was listed to address the council’s finance & performance committee tomorrow about the planning committee’s marinas recommendation – and the Marine Users Association has fired off a letter to the mayor & all committee members, arguing that his request shouldn’t have been granted.
Mr Steel said in his objection it was inappropriate for Mr Boersen to address the finance meeting without an opportunity for input by other interested parties because the first part of the recommendation (to hold a workshop) was a planning committee matter, and the second part (not to proceed with the sale of any marina land pending completion of the forward plan) wasn’t a finance committee agenda item.
Mr Steel wrote: “If the finance & performance committee meeting wished to consider this recommendation on 18 September there is no reason why it should not have been on the main agenda and other interested parties given the opportunity to speak as a part of public input.”
Against the association’s less than 24 hours to prepare, Mr Steel said Mr Boersen had been given a fortnight.
Mr Steel said the finance committee should decline Mr Boersen’s speaking request, or allow other interested parties to speak at the same meeting.
- Public input at the council isn’t confined to what the council has on its agenda.
- The 2 committees are essentially the same people (all councillors, a possible change in Independent Maori Statutory Board representation). People wanting to provide public input are sometimes sent to a committee which the council thinks is more relevant, but not always.
- The public input section of council meetings is not about debate, although more than one side might address the same topic at the same meeting.
- Auckland Council owns marinas and needs policies & strategies on both ownership & operation, and therefore on sale.
- Separately, the council needs policies & strategies on waterfront use, including marinas it owns & those it doesn’t own.
- Empire Capital, as an owner of marinas, has been advancing development scenarios for several years. It’s sensible for the company’s position to be understood.
4 September 2018: Council wades into deep water in marinas debate
Attribution: Committee agenda, Marine Users Association.