New Zealand’s Silliest Local Government Spending Winner

Shane wins the latest iPad for this exceptionally silly prosecution of oldies in Kapiti.

This is a second nomination for Kapiti, after they got nominated for their exceptionally silly electric green rubbish truck. As we pointed out then the former mayor Jenny Rowan got the arse at the last election so maybe things are on the improve.

I would like to nominate the Kapiti Coast District Council for New Zealand’s Silliest Local Body Spending Competition.

The council laid charges against Peter and Diana Standen, 77 and 74,  Keith and Lorraine McLeavey, 72 and 68, and a local business last year for modifying naturally occurring native trees on their properties.

From memory, Peter and Diana were relatively new to the area last year when they contracted Monkeyman Tree Services to trim or remove 6 diseased and rotted trees at the bottom of their property.  They were concerned the trees posed a hazard so called in an expert to take care of the problem.

Shortly after, the council turned up at 9am with uniformed police to investigate the matter.  The police left (somewhat embarrassed, I think) after establishing the septuagenarians were not going to pose a threat.

The council pursued prosecutions against the couple until an Environment Court judge dismissed the charges against the Mcleaveys as “trivial offending”.  

At that point the council decided to hire Wellington QC Richard Fowler to conduct an independent review.  This review found the prosecutions to be “inappropriate”.

According to Stuff the cost of the review was put at $15,000.

In his report, Mr Fowler has a swipe at Environment Minister Amy Adams for backing the Standens throughout their ordeal.

Peter Standen is quoted in the Dominion Post, on September 2, as saying the council wasted $50,000 dollars on this matter.

I could imagine the cost of investigating, waste of police resource, lawyers fees, media management, court time, report by QC, etcetera, would easily add up to a very silly figure.

The couple had faced a very silly maximum penalty of two years imprisonment or a $300,000 fine.

The whole affair has been silly from start to finish.  The Kapiti Coast District Council and their silly chief executive, Pat Dougherty, are power tripping morons without regard for the people who employ them.  And so, that is why I wish to nominate the Kapiti Coast District Council for New Zealand’s Silliest Local Body Spending Competition.

Thanks to Shane for his great nomination, and as he fulfilled the second part of the competition by sending an OIA to the extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council he gets an iPad Air not an iPad mini.

Keep your nominations coming in, we have more iPads to give away.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.