Consultation issues drive candidacy

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Candidate David Tennent is eyeing a return to council after a six-year hiatus.
Candidate David Tennent is eyeing a return to council after a six-year hiatus.

After six years away from the council table, David Tennent says he has renewed enthusiasm to stand again for the Aramoana-Ruahine rural ward in this year's local government elections.

This decision was largely driven by concerns over a number of governance and procedural issues, he said.

"At the top of the list is the failure of the current council to follow proper procedures and protocols around governance and consultation. Ratepayers' money is being spent without proper consultation with the community."

An example was the $1.2 million that was this year allocated to the sewerage system within a month of the annual plan being signed off, without a mention of it in that document, he said.

"This is very poor planning. We have a council that is reluctant to communicate openly.

They forget that they are there to serve the community with the community's money."

If elected, he said he would ensure the council became more open and transparent. "I believe the council has been far too quick to ban the media and the public from its deliberations.

"I am also concerned that the district plan is three years out of date. It is this document which should, with community consultation, provide direction to the council, helping to create and facilitate growth which we so desperately need."

He said the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme was critical to enhancing the rivers as well as driving much-needed economic activity. The council needed to be on the front foot regarding coming changes, which had not been addressed.

"The wastewater treatment system for Waipukurau and Waipawa lurches along with what seems an ad hoc approach, resulting in consent breaches.

"This situation needs to be dealt with properly with a system that meets acceptable industry standards."

This project was meant to be completed by 2014, he added.

He said that, prior to 2010, he spent nine years on the council with three of those as chair of the finances and services committee.

"During this time, much effort was put into getting the finances into a sustainable situation which, although unpalatable at the time, has allowed subsequent councils the opportunity to provide some extras around the district.

"I am very optimistic for the future of our district and what it has to offer its people."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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