Guest Post – Clown pants, clown shoes and clown makeup all the rage at Napier City Council

The latest unseemly outburst from Bill Dalton  which garnered national coverage is typified by his complete misunderstanding of the concerns of the ratepayers he purports to represent.

In appealing to his 12 councillors and their friends to commence a campaign of public support through the HB Today and social media to emphasise the success the NCC has enjoyed under Wayne Jack whose contract is currently up for review clearly shows a clear bias to the incumbent.

Like many others I would have thought that this would  have been left up to the 7 member PR team.

While acknowledging a number of candidates have already applied for the position of Napier CEO, Dalton does not wish to lose the incumbent—and this is all before he has interviewed a single individual !

This is a clear case of bias and it is obligatory upon the council that he plays no part in the upcoming interviews.

A current councillor confirmed to me that Dalton had for the past 6 months had openly stated his preference for the status quo to remain—despite the many disasters during his time as CEO.

Perhaps Bill Dalton would care to deny these comments through this site?

Staff morale has never been lower with literally hundreds leaving with decades of experience and the council facing the largest number of personal grievances ever.

Instead of ratepayers funds being spent on our decrepit water and sewerage infrastructure it has been wasted on reports for the $30 million Velodrome project, trips to California to “study“ aquariums for the $25 million expansion project while at the same time delaying the refurbishment of Mclean Park thus losing 2 ODI matches next year.

Meanwhile our water is continually contaminated and sewerage pours into the Ahuriri estuary

Vanity projects and commercial gambles trump the health of our ratepayers under this hapless regime.

Thus a record rate rise to pay for on-going losses at the MTG, Aquarium and  ludicrous amounts for Velodrome reports—a project nobody wants except Wayne Jack.

But the worst example of sheer arrogance and ensuring the public are kept in the dark is the War Memorial fiasco.

Both the Mayor and CEO had the agenda prepared but without the public being aware—until too late.

Such items can be in the public excluded items if they concern commercial sensitivity.

But where was the commercial sensitivity in unilaterally changing the name from War Memorial Centre to the Conference Centre ?

Where too was the commercial sensitivity in ripping out the Eternal Flame and Roll of Honour ?

In preparing such an important agenda item it is mandatory for the CEO to ensure that ALL relevant information is included thus ensuring that the councillors can make a fully informed decision.

It is up to the mayor to ensure that such a report is included before a discussion takes place and a vote taken.

Both failed, either through laziness or intent.

Thus we have a growing number of councillors publically claiming that they did not have all the information available on which to base an informed decision.

This odious decision, made without the facts being disclosed should be nullified at the next council meeting.

In his intemperate e-mail to councillors Dalton makes the point that their families are upset at recent comments criticizing the council on social media.

So why not think of the hard pressed ratepayers, many of whom are on fixed incomes who lose sleep over this year’s rate increase which is nearly 5 times the rate of inflation ?

If both Wayne Jack and Bill Dalton wish to leave Hawke’s Bay, then I for one will be more than happy to assist in their removal expenses.

Finally and unbelievably, both Bill Dalton and Wayne Jack through their actions and inactions make the Trump White House look like a well –oiled and  disciplined place of decision making.


John J Harrison

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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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