Ratepayers Association Acting Strange?

What is this about?


I am going to give this some more sunlight as it seems a Ratepayers Association is acting Secret Squirrel rather than open and transparent.

Below is the opening to the Piha Village Voice blog post on a West Auckland Ratepayers Association:


11 February 2015


You might think democracy in New Zealand looks like this:

  • NZ Government > Auckland Council > Local Board > You and Me

Not so  . . .  there are layers you probably do not even know about and it looks like this:

  • NZ Government > Auckland Council > Local Board > Combined Waitakere Residents & Ratepayers Group > Piha Residents & Ratepayers Group> You and Me

The combined Waitakere Residents & Ratepayers Group meets bi-monthly.

  • NONE of us can attend – it is a closed meeting.
  • There are no published minutes.
  • ONLY committee members of Residents & Ratepayers Groups can attend and ONLY 2 from each R&R can speak.
  • Oh, wait a minute …  there is ONE exception! The Chair of this group is Kubi Witten-Hannah, of Karekare,  who is not an elected member of any R&R but he Chairs (controls) the entire meeting.
  • Not all Waitakere groups attend but ‘they’ still call themselves the Combined Waitakere R&R Group
  • Elected representatives are invited eg: Local Board members and Ward Councillors –
  • I’ve not heard of Ward councillors attending (Hulse & Cooper) but Local Board Members regularly attend and if not give their apologies.

What do they talk about ?  (Good question!)


Source and full post: http://villagevoice.co.nz/behind-closed-doors/


Hmmm with them and the Waitakere Ranges Local Board acting odd I think some sunlight needs to be shone on both to get some transparency into the matter

Because there is nothing wrong with asking for this if a group claims to represent you:

  • The Minutes of these meetings be made public and
  • How many members each R&R group have (audited)


7 thoughts on “Ratepayers Association Acting Strange?

  1. Greg: “the insinuation that the local board is a closed group “. No – I have stated, not insinuated, that the Waitakere Combined R&R Group is a ‘closed group’ as well you know it is.

  2. Bobbie what is not accurate is the insinuation that the local board is a closed group and that business is conducted secretly for a start. And you have attended meetings in the past without being a member or delegate. This board spends more time meeting with local groups than any other board I know and to suggest otherwise is totally unwarranted.

    1. Greg, Bobby is correct. There are some significant democratic issues. And yes the board does liaise with a wide number of “groups” and “trusts” and also belong to a number of those groups as trustees, members, or employees. A number of those “Trusts” are also funded and responsible for delivering the boards largest contracts. There are numerous overlaps and *issues*.

  3. Greg: If the Minutes are not secret maybe you can email me the last couple. You know my email address. Can you be a little more specific about what is ‘not accurate’ ?

  4. Greetings Ben. Village voice’s description of matters is, shall we say, not accurate. The combined ratepayers is a group that meets every couple of months. It is a chance for local groups to meet and discuss matters of interest. Meetings are well attended. At the recent meeting seven different groups were represented with apologies from a further two.

    Minutes are not secret. There is an understanding and expectation that they can be circulated although the hiatus between meetings means that there is a time lag before the minutes cna be confirmed.

    Local board members also meet regularly with local R&R organisations. Last night I attended the Oratia R&R executive. Other board members attend other executive meetings.

    Kubi is a previous chair of the Waitakere Community Board and is a very effective and efficient chair.

    There is no secrecy. The meetings provide further opportunities for board members to hear about local issues.

    1. I have published your comment Greg to provide the Counterpoint to the claims made.

      However, I highly suggest now that maybe a coffee of three with Bobbie to talk about the matters rather than in three months time the situation festers still.

      I will keep an eye on it to the point this is not the first time I have heard grumblings about democracy out in the West

    2. Yes Greg BUT the meeting of the Combined R&Rs only allows Committee Members of R&Rs to attend so why is Kubi Witten-Hannah attending AND why is he the Chair when he is not on any R&R?

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