What do we hope to achieve?
We are a small group of local residents who have come together from different directions and meet informally (we don’t have resolutions, memberships etc) with a common purpose of promoting true accountability within councils.
Sketch biographies are attached
We hope to initiate a culture change within local government in Whangarei; to highlight principles such as the accountability of elected representatives to electors rather than specific issues (of which there are many!).
We hope to impress upon councillors that they can achieve positive outcomes by involving residents in the early stages of decision making and that they should consider referenda as a means of gauging public opinion before undertaking major discretionary projects.
And we want to encourage the two way flow of real information rather than the stream of PR “spin” which emanates from councils.
We are not affiliated to any political party or organisation.
We are not motivated by any religious persuasion.
We are not bound by rules - we can, and do, act independently.
We do not support or oppose any particular councillor - we hope that all councillors will consider the points that we make and will take them on board to the benefit of all.
In the past few years the nature of councils’ interaction with their residents and ratepayers has undergone fundamental change due, in part, to the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002. This act has given councils licence to undertake a range of activities previously not available to them.
Councils have embraced these extra opportunities to become involved in a series of “commercial” undertakings which have resulted in extensive costs to ratepayers without their being consulted until the projects have effectively become a fait accompli.
While not wishing to deny councils these opportunities we believe that they must exercise a more effective consultation process to interact with ratepayers at the early stages of projects.
This increased activity has been matched by an increase in PR “spin”, which has been used as a substitute for genuine two way communication.