Hamilton City Council will not be contacting 10-year plan submitters over mistakes many may have made answering a question about which council projects they want to go ahead.
On Friday, when the 10-Year Plan submissions were made public, many people who made submissions were confused as a question on the council document was misinterpreted and incorrect answers given. But it is no easy task judging what people really meant.
The question is about council's proposed investment in nine community projects such as the Central City Park, Garden Place and the Rototuna community hub. The question asks:
"Do you think the investment of $70.7 million in the nine projects is the right option?"
Respondents can answer either yes or no, Council should not do the following projects (select all that apply).
In some cases people have ticked projects they support rather than do not support.
At an elected members briefing on Tuesday councillors were told by staff that it would be overkill to inform submitters of their mistake. Instead, staff say it is up to individuals to pursue the matter themselves.
One submitter, Diana Wood, voted against the Rototuna Community Hub, but in the same submission wrote in support of the project.
Councillor Mark Bunting raised this example, saying there has been a massive outrage around the matter on social media.
"One of the questions Nancy Caiger asked on Facebook is would you be emailing out to every submitter that this has happened and they have the opportunity to do a full reversal," Cr Bunting said.
Hamilton City Council General Manager Strategy and Communication Sean Hickey replied with a straight no.
"We considered that and decided it would be overkill. The absolute vast majority of people filled it in correctly," Mr Hickey said.
"We don't know that Sean," Cr Bunting said. "The point was that once you put your submission in you think it is right and you don't necessarily read all social media pages and know that there may be a problem in there."
Mr Hickey: "It is not proportionate to the size of the issue."
Mr Bunting: "But we don't know that it's not proportionate."
Councillor Ryan Hamilton said he disagreed with Bunting.
"If you look at the feedback, Garden Place was clearly the most anti-spend and that has came through on this data," Mr Hamilton said.
Mayor Andrew King said that someone would be able to change their answer, as long as it was in full.
"You can't say I got this one wrong, but all the others I want to leave. If you misunderstood the question you must not cherry-pick out because that is actually changing your mind," Mayor King said.
Councillor Garry Mallett asked if that was fair.
"We actually want to know what the people want to get to us, whether or not it seems a bit illogical in the process they have gone through," Cr Mallett said.
"All we are trying to do is get clarity on what they wanted."
On Thursday, council staff had received emails from four submitters indicating that they incorrectly selected projects that they did support, rather than those they did not.
Mr Hickey told Hamilton News on Monday that submitters may contact the council and make a change.
"Some submitters have also contacted elected members directly but staff are yet to quantify how many.
"Any updates or corrections will be made clear to elected members before they make any decisions at the end of May."
If you think you made a mistake in your submission
If you think you may have misread question eight, contact the council at EMAIL: email@example.com
Any updates or corrections will be made clear to elected members before they make any decisions at the end of May.