Dear Calum Penrose, Denise Krum, Bill Cashmore, Linda Cooper, Alf Filipaina and George Wood [UPDATED]

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Dear Councillors,

You six ignored the hundreds of submissions from locals and voted to allow set nets to be reintroduced to Arkles Bay.

Today, in the middle of summer, someone did just that.

The net is unattended, right in the middle of the swimming area near a council-provided pontoon for swimmers. I hope a small child isn’t injured or drowned. I hope no dolphins are injured.  

It was your votes that has allowed this to occur.

You will be held to account.

The campaign to unseat you starts today. I will be getting around the locals tomorrow, and have shared this email with many of them.

I promised councillors at a meeting last year that voting to return set nets would cost seats. If you don’t believe me ask Wayne Walker; he was there. I am a man of my word. I will be working very hard to ensure none of you are re-elected.

Good luck, you are going to need it.

UPDATE: I’ve been contacted by Auckland Council and handed over the rego of the vehicle involved.

Calum Penrose also emailed:

Good morning Cameron,

Thank you for your email.  The picture you provide seems to clearly indicate a breach of Council’s Public Safety & Nuisance Bylaw, specifically the ban on set netting in Arkles Bay.

This morning I met with Councillor Webster and the General Manager for Licensing and Compliance. Your complaint has been formally logged.  Fortunately a member of the public separately contacted Auckland Council contact centre (09 301 0101) at 9pm, which resulted in our compliance and enforcement team being advised.  Council operates a 24/7 compliance operation, which allowed our on duty officer to contact the complainant.  The New Zealand Police was also advised however, regrettably they were unable to attend.  Our enquiries are continuing and the information obtained from the immediate informant and from yourself this morning is helpful.  The more evidence we have the better – particularly a photo of the activity in progress (as you have provided) and the registration numbers of vehicles.  As you’ll appreciate, Council officers cannot be everywhere and we rely on concerned citizens such as yourself to report their concerns.  Thank you.

As Chair of the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee we have prioritised set net management in the Albany and Rodney wards.  We have controls in place at Arkles, Army and Te Haruhi Bays that prevents set netting from occurring.  We have dedicated significant resources throughout the region to monitoring any illegal activity, but need support from the Ministry for Primary Industry for additional monitoring and enforcement. Most incidences that do come to our attention are breaches of the Auckland Recreational Fishing Rules administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries.  Councillor Webster and I are arranging a meeting with MPI to discuss their current approach and the best way to manage set net use.

Kind regards

Calum Penrose

Papakura Manurewa Ward Councillor

Which is all nice but belies the fact that the Council was called at least twice last night by residents.

One resident called twice, the first time was a patch through from the Police, and he was advised that the council only had an ageing security guard who could attend and the on-call woman, so they would not be attending.

The second call, at midnight was answered by a woman who would not transfer to any relevant department, and passed the buck to Fisheries, who had no staff on and instead only had an answerphone.

I am not impressed. There is no excuse for non-attendance for any reason. I do not buy into the the Police being too busy, as this highlights that the Police do not have enough staff to maintain general public safety and a direct threat to our personal well-being.

If the council is not sufficiently staffed, and the police do not have sufficient to cope, where do our taxes go?

Calum Penrose just mouths platitudes, but it is interesting that they are all of a sudden motivated into action.


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