Wanaka's Niamh Shaw - elected councillors shut out of airport consultation
Wanaka councillor Niamh Shaw has issued a blistering attack on the QLDC's current airport consultation joining many other community voices that are increasingly concerned that the process has a pre-determined outcome. Here's the full text of her social media post this morning.
"Coming up to the election last year, Mayor Boult announced the QLDC would conduct economic and social impact assessments of various airport scenarios. Given the level of disquiet surrounding the airport(s) issue, I appreciate why applying some emergency brakes was considered a rip-snorting idea.
To date, councillors have had no input into the process: nothing to do with the RFP, choice of consultant, terms of reference/scope, or identification of key stakeholders. However, there is one context within which this is acceptable: that councillor involvement would have assigned these reports a status that simply isn’t merited.
These assessments are intended only to provide information; and nothing in the way of recommendation. This was confirmed by Martin Jenkin’s lead consultant during a presentation to Councillors just over two weeks ago.
The second important factor is that, although this process involves some degree of engagement, it is neither full engagement nor comprehensive community consultation. Ultimately, the current engagement being undertaken by Martin Jenkins is no substitute for full consultation within the community directly affected.
If at any stage it looks like these conditions are not being met, I would like to assure you that I personally won’t be touching either report with a ten foot pole featuring laser-operated motion detectors and built-in anti bullshit devices."