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Board chair demands better TDC project monitoring

July 7th, 2014
[by David Armstrong]

Community Board chairman Paul Hawkes is getting stuck in to TDC staff over the lack of feedback and action on long-promised projects in the Motueka ward.

At the board meeting tomorrow afternoon Paul will table his report stating his increasing annoyance "at being the bad ogre, who has to regularly ask questions of project progress and seem to be the eternal broken record".

He then describes several projects that appear to have stalled without explanation. "I intensely dislike being a negative person and would think that for every negative there is a positive, but at times this is definitely not the case," he writes.

"Communication is the key to resolution and it seems that this is not occurring enough within Council. Surely the work load on projects must have a series of checks and procedures that are in place to assure continued follow up?"

Paul describes several such projects, starting with the Decks Reserve playground upgrade, which was approved at the board's October 2013 meeting.

"... no progress has been evident to date ... I know that there was a considerable investment in playground equipment purchased for this project and am wondering why the delay? Surely with communication we would not have to act as the "police" to follow up."

The installation of security cameras at the Decks Reserve toilet block was approved at the December 2013 Board meeting. "Two quotes for equipment [were] supplied. Council insisted on a third quote, but due to the closeness of the Christmas holiday break, there was a reluctant delay in this being acceptable".

"We are now seven months on, with several serious vandalism attacks later, proving to be very costly and there are no operating cameras to speak of.

"We realise that cameras are only a deterrent, but making examples of the culprits will surely make others think before being abusive. I think I can safely say, on behalf of all Board members, that this is totally unacceptable," Paul reports.

Other approved but delayed projects his report highlights include the Moffatt Street pathway, which is now on hold awaiting quotes on another similar project nearby, and the promised removal of large tree stumps in Tudor Street.

"Is it time that Council developed better checks and processes to keep these projects within an acceptable timeframe for completion, or is it a case of the workloads being too large and the 'tail again wagging the dog'?" Paul asks.

"These are a few that come to mind, but I am sure if I was to look more closely at Board minutes, I can find more occasions of Council inaction. Please can Council please deliver on expectations? Is it the Board's position to play the 'Happy Police'? I think not."


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