Nelson Residents Association

YOUR CIVIC GUARDIAN

Recent Correspondence

(Most Recent First)


 

25/August/15

The Editor

Nelson Mail

The Nelson Residents’ Association is in possession of facts indicating that totally unnecessary expenditure is being contemplated on the Trafalgar Centre. The Association is determined to expose this questionable proposal that can only be described as covering for those who originally made some gross errors of judgement.

The statement by Project Manager, Richard Kirby, that massive external beams need to be installed to resist the building shearing off its foundation is absurd and must be challenged. There are already 97 very substantial single, double and tripled piles, reinforced with 582 compliant, 20 mm diameter reinforcing rods, doing this job.

It must be rapidly dawning on our Councillors that they have been defending the indefensible. To avoid further alienating themselves from the people they represent, it would now be a good idea for them to do their duty, and discipline the guilty.

Any contractor, engineer, or architect who becomes party to further irresponsible behaviour, can be assured of close attention by this Association, and the ratepayers of Nelson. We elect Councillors to keep a responsible eye on our assets – they have often failed us.

Read the factual details on our website: www.nelsonresidents.co.nz

Pam Frahm

Acting Secretary Nelson Residents Association


July 6, 2015

LETTER TO EDITOR

Back in March 2015, another costly seismic investigation of the ground surrounding the Trafalgar Centre was undertaken by the international company, Fugro. We were led to believe, through the media, that the results were going to be released in mid-May. July is marching on and still no announcement.

Based on the fact that all the very costly initial expert reports have been exposed as being grossly flawed, we are left with the impression that when the painful truth is finally revealed, there will be an attempt by Nelson City Council to gloss over the embarrassment by announcing “an exciting makeover” for the Trafalgar Centre. This cunning strategy is not unusual, but it won’t hide the fact that the council, both staff and elected representatives, in an attempt to protect the guilty have, and without any shred of justification, allowed the Trafalgar Centre, at great expense - $2.1M actually – to remain closed.

Since the notices on the doors of our civic centre now say that the building “may or may not” need attention, the time is fast approaching when councillors will be called to account for showing no regard for the consequences of their hasty and irresponsible decisions.

Pam Frahm

Acting Secretary, Nelson Residents Association  


 

Letter to Editor  

August 5, 2015                                                                                               

Now that Ratepayers are exposed to even more EQ Risk remediation costs on Council owned buildings, it is timely to remind Councillors that Ratepayers are NOT a bottomless pit of unnecessary funding.

Councillors are contemplating spending a huge amount on the Trafalgar Centre Northern End.

It is only the size of two large single storey houses, and the foundations are already in place. - $4.1m is a crazy amount.

Dunning Thornton Consultants gave the Northern End a rating of 35/40% of Code back in October 2013 , but Council has chosen to ignore this vital fact.

This rating takes the Northern End right OUT of the 34% risk category.

Councillors are on the verge of spending $4.1m on the basis of a single price, from a building company in a privileged position.

This Northern End should be treated as a separate project to the Main Stadium and Southern End remedial work.

It MUST go out to Public Tender. This is the proper process and NCC should adhere to this.

It is outrageous to spend $4.1m without competitive tendering on a “Nice to Have “ project, in these times when fiscal prudence is called for.

Stuart Walker, 36 Enner Glynn Rd, Stoke. Ph.547- 6305.


Letter to the Editor - Nelson Mail.                          

27 July 2015

Re : Trafalgar Centre .

The Northern End of the Trafalgar Centre does not HAVE to be demolished; indeed it is doubtful it even HAS to be strengthened much at all.

At last Thursday’s Council Meeting, it became obvious that the Mayor and Councillors (except Cr Skinner,) were hell bent on demolishing the Northern End and rebuilding to a new layout costing $4.1m.

They were going to spend whatever figure Richard Kirby came up with, in order to save face and to justify their closure of the Complex back in December 2013.    This project could now cost Ratepayers up to $16m.

The CEO has confirmed in an Email dated 4th June 2015, that “The Long Term Plan makes provision for $10m and that is the amount we are working to.”

Why then did the CEO not bring this $10m limit to the Councillors’ attention?

During the meeting, no discussion was held on where this extra $6m was going to come from.

This is a $6m cost over- run, even before the work has started!

Next year’s Council Elections are going to be most interesting.

Stuart Walker.

36 Enner Glynn Rd,

Stoke.

547-6397


 

June 20, 2015

The Editor, Nelson Mail

It is with sadness that we declare our Friend and the Secretary of the Nelson Residents Association, Ken Meredith, has passed away. At 86 Ken was still active and many of you will have read his humourous, and sometimes stinging, letters in this column.

Ken was a master of the English language and could turn a phrase like no other. Although critical, even an 11-page submission to the Council’s Long Term Plan would have been a pleasure to read.

We will miss his company, his Albert Einstein hair-do, and his professional devotion to the NRA. 

Pam Frahm

Vice President, Nelson Residents Association


23 April 2015

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Time to call on Jack !

Once upon a time, a wicked Fairy flew into town on her golden wings blinding the peasants with glittering light.

She cast a terrible spell over all the town which shrouded every building with an invisible cloak of earthquake vulnerability.

The unhappy peasants called on the Queen and her courtiers to find wise men who could unmagic the spell and return all the buildings including the People's Palace,(named after a famous naval victory), to their proper use.

The Queen handed out bags of gold to many wizards. But none could break the spell, so the Queen gave them lots more gold and told them to try again but with no greater success.

Then some courtiers began to worry about a castle attached to the royal palace.

Somebody found a mysterious stranger called Jack with a magic wand .

Jack waved his wand and lo, the shroud disappeared from the State Castle,

Would it not be worth calling on Jack to remove the shroud from the People's Palace ?

Or would that upset the dark knights who always wanted to demolish the P.P so they could build a new Colosseum for visiting jugglers, acrobats, minstrels and other mountebanks?

Yours Faithfully,

Ken Meredith


30 March 2015

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

SEISMIC STANDARDS OF COUNCIL OWNED PROPERTIES

At the Nelson City Council Works Committee meeting of 26th March 2015 it was announced that the State Advances building, which is owned by the Council, has recently been confirmed as having a seismic rating of 50% of New Building Standards and that the earthquake prone notice, which was attached in 2011, can now be formally lifted. The meeting was also told that the reason for its closure was due to “unreliable data”.

Very soon it is expected that a similar statement will be made regarding the Trafalgar Centre but the wording must surely read “that its closure was due to very poor performances by legal and professional people and the dereliction of duty by elected representatives”. Anything less will not be a true representation of all those involved in unnecessarily discrediting our valuable and urgently needed Trafalgar Centre.

It is also expected that the providers of Local Government revenue (ratepayers) expect the guilty to refund their ill-gotten gains. Failing to do so will see their respective reputations further damaged.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated

 


9 March 2015

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Council Merger Needed?

Has Damian O'Connor really changed his mind because he thinks a school fair needs a liquor licence?

There are many defects with our incredibly undemocratic local bodies but nothing will change until the Local Government Act is overhauled!

Both local councils here deny equal representation for all electors. Tasman's urban areas have a greater voice than the rural while the one ward city favoured by Nelson councillors enables lobby groups like “Hands Up” gain power to promote their agendas. With the one ward system once elected, councillors can remain in office long after their use-by date is past.

Since 2002, councillors have been discouraged from taking an interest in what the permanent staff are doing and only go through the motions when the Annual or Long Term Plans are up for discussion.

Councils enter into major projects and seem unable to complete them within budget, happily lumbering the ratepayers with the cost overruns in their next rate demands.

Councils can get away with wasting millions by having their illegal Behaviour validated by retrospective legislation. This must stop and the immunity of councillors and council staff from prosecution for loss loaded on to ratepayers must be removed!

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


4 March 2015

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Better late than never?????

Kerry Marshall's instruction to his new “HandsUp” councillors that they should not interfere with the council's permanent staff members in the course of their business was woefully followed at great cost to unfortunate ratepaying citizens.

Now at last, as the Reese council approaches the end of its second year in office, the governance committee has made a long overdue decisionregarding the failure of Greg Shaw to account for ticket monies to the council.

The mayor and nine of the present councillors must have been aware of the unsatisfactory situation which council staff members had allowed to develop. Why did nobody have the guts to grasp the nettle before Mr Shaw's business failed?

It is disappointing to read that the two councillors with legal training voted against the case being referred to the NZ Police and there is considerable irony in councillor Acland's concern that there good money would be chasing bad!

Did councillor Acland have the same reticence when the case of Lewis Stanton was being discussed? Hone was the typical “man of straw” , from whom no financial recovery was possible but councillors were prepared to squander hundreds of thousands on litigation.

Yours sincerely

Ken Meredith

Secretary/Treasurer, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated

 


21 February 2015

The Editor

Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Poor Planning & a lack of regulation

It was diappointing to read of this week's failure of the Planning & Regulatory Committee to achieve a quorum on Thursday.

Councillors are well remunerated by the ratepayers to carry out their duties and the absence of the deputy chair without leave was inexcusable. One might suspect that the other councillors may have felt it their duty to swell the crowd at Saxton Oval on the occasion.

The Civic House staff who work so hard to keep the councillors informed would be justified if they wondered how much their efforts are valued.

The agenda for the failed meeting was particularly complex and important.

We note that the supernumary member, Ms Paine had made a wasted journey from Marlborough to attend , representing yet another example of council wastage of the community's funds. It would be interesting to learn what practical benefit the ratepayers gain from the contributions of the three unelected members of council. Many citizens have questioned why these members have voting rights when their appointment has been made quite undemocratically. The word nepotism hangs silently in the air when ratepayers think about the extra three paypackets which are padding the invoices for General Rates & charges.

Yours sincerely

Ken Meredith

Secretary/Treasurer, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated

 


11 February 2015

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

The Septic Seven

Mayor Rachel raises an interesting issue when she claims that councillors who engage in “politicking” and express a point of view that is contrary to hers are engaging in errors of judgement and that in effect they were letting the team down.

The notion that Council is a team is not its purpose. Councillors are elected as individuals to view the issues as they see fit and act accordingly. If one or a group wishes to express their views as is the case with the Southern Link, they should not feel restricted. Certainly their actions will be judged by the people in due course.

Regarding the Mayor’s statement that “politicking” undermines public confidence in the Council’s ability to make considered decisions is also interesting. As we understand it, through their actions those councillors who are on the Regional Transport Committee have effectively disenfranchised themselves thereby allowing others to fill the gap.

We hope that councillors, with their new-found sense of independence will now do the honourable thing and view the Trafalgar Centre fiasco in a more practical and responsible light.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


24 January 2015

Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Mayor Spins A Yarn or Two!

In her recent fortnightly columns in the Nelson Leader, Ms Reese has displayed scant respect for the intelligence for those who elected her.

On 8 January she offered a “Sunny Outlook” for 2015, with an invitation to the public to contribute to the council's Long Term Plan. Past experience has often proved an exercise in futility.

Her latest offering loosely associated with the Trathen family's problems of securing it's Trafalgar Street facade, tells the gullible public that council has saved ratepayers Twenty Million Dollars on taking good advice on the Trafalgar Centre.

This saving is the same as the $50,000 I saved by not buying a Toyota yesterday that I don't need today.

Her good advice has come from inadequately briefed consultants (some still on the payroll) including peer-reviews by experts who didn't even respond to issues raised by the original consultants.

The precipitate closure of the Trafalgar Centre by ill-informed councillors who didn't wait to read the consultants' final report, has cost ratepayers several unnecessary millions and deprived the Nelson community of a lot of revenue.

The demolition of the Trafalgar Centre (prevented by a team of determined residents) is still a possibility.

Ken Meredith

Secretary/Treasurer, Nelson Residents' Association Inc


14 October 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

LAND TRANSPORT NEW ZEALAND FUNDING

It seems that Nelson City Council has a one-term political death wish in its collective attitude toward the employment of the highway funding derived from the levy on petrol and diesel sales.

These funds are intended to be used on roading works for the benefit of users of the city's network of streets, not merely for the comfort of the lycra brigade who expect to share streets and footpaths at no cost.

The inclusion of a programme item described as “Maitai Walk(Saltwater Creek Bridge) $375,000” is a gross misappropriation of LTNZ funding. Replacement of the footbridge originally constructed by members of the armed forces has no connection with LTNZ, and of questionable value to vehicle operators who use Nelson's streets .

This particular project is a flight of fantasy for folk like Mike Ward who scorns humble motorists complaining that they are beneficiaries of constant state subsidy.

In fact, 50% of road user charges go into the general fund. Many Nelson streets are substandard, needing attention. Road surface noise is rapidly becoming a noticeable health hazard.

Councillors, please apply the road user revenue to its rightful and necessary use!

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


7 October, 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Regional Trash

It was surprising to note that the editorial of 4th October headed “What’s this Trash Talking Between Councils” inferring that Nelson Mail had joined Dad’s Army.  To avoid confusion we suggest that the Mail aligns itself closer to the Nelson Residents’ Association.

However, the October 3rd report on the York Valley rubbish tip was quite well presented, showing up some important points, primarily the reference to Resource Consents. 

On reading the article, one might believe that Resource Consents are something akin to the Ten Commandments brought down by Moses from the mountain and as such, sacrosanct. 

In fact they are nothing more than a Council employee’s judgement of an application and ideological agendas are allowed to be applied as they see fit.  Caution is needed when a bureaucrat quotes the RMA.

In the case of the York Valley tip site, if Christchurch had a change of heart and decided not to accept hazardous waste, all NCC staff need to do is change the consent to accommodate noxious waste.

Nelson has accepted Buller refuse for months. One tip for the South Island ?

To reduce warranted criticism of the current process, Councillors need to address this issue and act accordingly

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


1 October, 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

15 Bridge St

NELSON 7010

(per  email: mailbox@nelsonmail.co.nz)

Dear Sir

Trafalgar Centre Facts

If the Trafalgar Centre foundations were only 3 metres deep they would be in very weak material.  The piles are 11 metres deep because that is the depth at which material capable of carrying the required load is located. 

The Mayor’s attempt to suggest that it would not matter what depth the piles are is distressing.  It also shows a serious lack of understanding of how detrimental  it would have been to the above ground structure had the foundations been in the weak material.

Anyone in authority who continues to support the badly based reports should step aside from direct involvement in the issue, including the latest team of consultants.

The reports to date, costing $340,000 are not much more than academic desk top analyses -  “garbage in, garbage out” -  therefore they must no longer be recognised.

If details and photos of the entire fiasco are sought, they can be found on www.nelsonresidents.co.nz.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


12 September 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Missing the Topp Twins et al !

Ann Nighy's call tonight'(11/09/14) for the Trafalgar Centre reopening deserves an honest answer from council!

It took a few minutes discussion on 13 December 2013 for council to totally unnecessarily issue a Section 124 earthquake hazard notice but in less time, councillors could have rescinded their action when they learned the error of their ways – if they had wanted to!

The apparent hidden agenda to convert the centre into a combined Performing Arts and Conference Complex,probably required that the building be closed on the pretence of seismic risks, so that this perfectly adequate building could be demolished and replaced.

When they learned the inconvenient truth that the “Hangar's” foundations were much firmer than claimed by the “experts(?)”, council had already started on its grandiose Maitai Walkway and wrecked the vehicle access to the Trafalgar Centre.

On 15 July a sum of $57M was projected on the NCC website as the cost for redevelopment of Rutherford Park and Trafalgar Centre. 24 hours later the sum was deleted and replaced with: Quote Council approved $10.2M for the upgrade and detailed design work is already underway. Expect to see the new-look Trafalgar Centre completely finished by mid-2015 Unquote

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


17 August 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

A Disgraceful Bequest from Everyman!

Your frontpage article on Friday (15th Aug) regarding misappropriated ticket monies disclosed a totally unacceptable outcome. It was not very encouraging to learn that former auditor, John Murray in his supernumery council position, was prepared to rubber-stamp the Governance Committee's recommendation that the debt be written off as standard accounting practice.

It may be standard accounting practice for public companies who can offset unrecoverable debts against trading profits. Regrettably Local Bodies never make profits, to the ratepayers' cost!

The apparently lone voice of Eric Davy urging that the debtor should be notified to the police, was of course, far too late. That notification was due months ago when Mr Shaw first ceased to pass on ticket receipts to the council. Why was Mr Shaw not required to pay the monies into a trust account??

Lack of oversight by City Financial officers should be reflected in dismissal of negligent staff and resignation by the person(s) who authorised the pay as you go deal with Mr Shaw.

Page two of Friday's paper reported a “big boost for the disaster fund” from savings of $1.8M., made by neglecting essential infrastructural works, City Hall has nothing to shout about !

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


16 August 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Trafalgar Centre

Further to our letter of 14 August on the Trafalgar Centre, it is to be remembered that nowhere in any report does it state that the building had to close and when all the badly based assumptions are extracted from those reports , one is left wondering as to what is actually wrong with the building.

However, there is not a structure ever created that could not be improved upon, likewise with the Trafalgar Centre, but for it to be shut while professional manoeuvring is going on is unacceptable. Airports don’t shut down for major structural changes, even when, in some circumstances, they should.

Solution – Stop the silly games, open the building then look at what might need to be done. Failing to recognise the folly of what has occurred to date will see a great deal of attention focussed on the Project Manager.

Finally, in view of the fact that the contract documents for the Project Manager’s position state that only after the successful applicant is chosen will the details of the job be released. One would indeed need to be a very bold person to even contemplate applying for the position of Project Manager.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


14 August, 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Trafalgar Centre

Nelson City Council is preparing to select a Project Manager for the Trafalgar Centre. This person is to provide concept plans by December 2014, detailed drawings and consents by June 2015 and completion of physical works by February 2016!

It is alarming to read in the documents that the Council is expecting the Project Manager to refer to the original group of “experts” for background details. Rather than a continuing involvement, many in this group should have had action taken against them to recover the enormous costs of the chaos they created.

The curious inclusion of negative comments directed at the Trafalgar Centre by authors of the Project Manager’s tender documents are also a big concern as it gives further weight to the feeling that a private agenda is continuing to run against our prime civic centre. The tender documents also state that the Project Manager will report to Councillors.

It is hoped that they will avail themselves of the facts before making decisions, not continue to be influenced by people now fighting hard to regain some semblance of credibility,. Failing to respond to the shambles that has been exposed to date will see Councillors being derelict in their duty.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated

 


July 13, 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

15 Bridge St

NELSON 7010

(per  email: mailbox@nelsonmail.co.nz)

Dear Sir

THE CULTURE MUST CHANGE

What is the point in electing a Mayor and Councillors? Next week Nelson will host the LGNZ conference where this question should be asked. Since the 90’s Councillors roles have been reduced to something akin to puppets with the strings being pulled by the CEO. Remember Marriott in Christchurch? A recent article by the Mayor reinforces this point, quote: “All our advice comes from the Chief Executive.”

Because our current representatives have not had the experience to see where faults lie, the mistake now has been made of taking on more bureaucrats which will only guarantee the unsatisfactory status quo.

The solution is a remit from the conference demanding that Parliament allow elected representatives to regain their traditional role, not  repeatedly trying to cover for irresponsible Behaviour.

The best local example of late is the Trafalgar Centre fiasco. This extremely valuable building was, until practical professionals got involved, in danger of being demolished. Why? - because Mayor and Councillors have been conditioned to accepting unchallenged executive advice.

The Trafalgar Centre example has now reached the stage of deception by some of those involved and still the elected representatives seem powerless to respond.

The answer is – change the Act.!

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


 

July 8, 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

SAVINGS (?) ON FOOTPATH RENEWALS !”

Turning from the sad news of the closure of the Everyman on Wednesday's front page, we were amazed to read the unfazed Mayor's almost flippant comments regarding the disgraceful cost overrun incurred on the ridiculous boulevard by the Maitai in Rutherford Park. Her remarks regarding that the odd two hundred thousand dollars had been SAVED on footpath renewals were an insult to the intelligence of the Ratepayers still waiting for footpaths to be installed for the first time. There are many footpaths throughoout the town which have not been resealed for years. Savings made at the expense of pedestrians by not doing essential maintenance is tantamount to misappropriation of funds, but then there is a tendency for that sort of thing to be winked at by folk in Civic House!

Ms Reese is happy that council delivers millions of dollars worth of projects “very successfully” but leaves the ratepayer wondering how high a priority some of those projects should have had compared with the many infrastructure items which have been neglected and whether council could have achieved a few economies by buying locally!

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


July 8, 2014

The Editor
Nelson Mail
Dear Editor,
Liquidator Geoff Falloon notes many Nelson retailers are struggling.
He suggested a performing venue would help to attract more winter
visitors. (Nelson Mail July 5) This past week has seen the closure
of three businesses for varying reasons. Where were all these CBD
retailers when the Trafalgar Civic Centre was closed with threat of
possible demolition due to misleading advice ?
Had our civic centre not been shut down then those beleaguered
retailers may not have hit the wall.
Nelson Tasman Tourism chief executive
Lynda Keene said "her team was doing everything to attract visitors".
Well I don't recall seeing her at the council public forums shouting
the odds at the centre lock down. On the same page Uniquely Nelson
Manager Cathy Madigan also wanted a performance venue but she too
did not appear to oppose the lock down of the centre. Instead of
opening the doors NCC have now decided to spend $450,000 on a
manager to signal when our civic centre is again 'open for business'.
Not withstanding the enormous cost of flawed reports and closing
shops we now learn that a meeting held on may 7 to review this
outcome cost the community $45,000 !
But sadly the unnecessary closure of the venue is still in place.
Mike Rodwell
President Nelson Residents Association


July 4, 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

THINGS SWEPT UNDER CARPETS STAY THERE ONLY FOR A WHILE!”

Somewhere in your picture gallery, you probably have a 2010 shot of the Theatre Royal with election posters displayed featuring Pete Rainey and Greg Shaw who were standing for council.

Greg was nine places out of the running, but what a team we would have had if they had both succeeded. The Chinese whispers have been murmured around town since last August when ticket monies to a value of $283,878 were outstanding. Clare Hadley tells us that it was a naïve arrangement that led to payment on the never-never. This arrangement must have been authorised by council and it would be interesting to learn how much influence Councillor Rainey wielded on behalf of his running mate!

The revival of the Theatre Royal from its grave was driven by these two Gentlemen and the former mayor Kerry Marshall, who connived at a request for a considerable loan which was granted by Aldo's council. Six months later the city got landed with a totally uneconomic building and city council officers let the takings for the bookings slip through their fingers. Clare must dispense with the staff members who allowed this to happen.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


June 28, 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

MONEY GAMES !

The practice by NCC of syphoning money from projects that are delayed or never progressed must cease. Apart from arguably being illegal, the fact is that rates are increased to fund items identified in the Annual Plan and agreed to by the community. The following examples are cases in point:

$600,000 transferred from Trafalgar Centre Capital Expenditure Account to set up Saxton Stadium

$200,000 taken from Footpath Account to help offset $750,000 overrun on the Maitai River project.

If this manipulation of accounts is to continue, the question begs as to why anyone should waste time making submissions to the Annual Plan process. In many cases, considerable time is spent helping Council to determine the city’s development when due process is often flouted.

A reply from someone in City Hall to the above points would be appreciated.

We are also curious to know why the newspaper report on the Maitai River project blowout used a figure of $550,000 overrun instead of the true figure of $750,000.

If there is to be an improvement in local government, councillors must stop governing at “arms length” and remember that their role is to represent the people, not defend the indefensible.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


14 June 2014

The Editor,

Nelson Mail,

Haven Road (Rutherford/Trafalgar Parks Upgrade)

We are appalled by the Works Committee decision reported in last night's paper, that northbound lanes of Haven Road between the Auckland Point rotary and Halifax Street should be closed, for traffic to share the southbound lanes, to reduce difficulties of pedestrians crossing SH6!

It is obvious that the Autophobic lunatics of Council have taken over the asylum!

Dual carriageway systems have been used for over seventy years to improve road safety. Utter chaos and gridlock would result from the folly of forcing four lanes of vehicles to share only two lanes of highway. It is time council dispenses with services of staff members or consultants whose advice creates traffic disasters like St Vincent street to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians , forgetting that streets were intended for vehicles.

Council must realise the best form of traffic safety is physical segregation of different users from each other. Trucks and cars separated from cycles and pedestrians not required to share footpaths with faster moving, silent mountainbikes, skateboards or inline skates.

As for Rocks Road , cyclists should use the safe dedicated route which has been provided on the railway reserve!

Yours sincerely

Ken Meredith

Secretary/Treasurer, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


26 May 2014

The Editor

Dear Sir

Trafalgar Centre

The inevitable blame game has started. It is sad to discover that people close to the action are attempting to dodge their responsibility, which is rapidly deteriorating into negligence and if allowed to continue, will end up requiring dismissals.

The spectre of liability due to their ineptitude is looming large. The disgraceful statements claiming that the reason for this mess is somehow due to conversations with staff who worked on the job in 1972 leaves us all gasping. It is becoming crystal clear to all that the calculations which have been so damaging to the image of the Trafalgar Centre have been, at best, assumption most likely based on the foundations being only three metres deep. Three metres would leave the building sitting on totally unsatisfactory material and for anyone with integrity to suggest otherwise is disgraceful to the extreme.

What to do? Mayor and Councillors, accept publicly that you have been badly advised, accept that if you do not act immediately there is a strong likelihood that a 5000 seat big top will be installed at Richmond Park and if that happens we will never see another major show in Nelson City. Councillors, it is your call.

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


23 May 2014

The Editor

The Nelson Mail

Dear Sir

Trafalgar Centre Fiasco

Alan Bicker’s review of the Trafalgar Centre fiasco appears to show that he is another person who is not in possession of the facts. If he was, he could not back the closure. It is also clear that nobody informed him that the draft reports on the Trafalgar Centre are seriously flawed and are, in the main, just interim documents.

The Council must stop inviting “friends” who come from the same environment to protect the establishment and assess self-made embarrassing problems. Councillors and council staff would be advised to consider the following quote from Michael Shermer's bookWhy People Believe Weird Things”.

Quote:

 

“Humans have evolved with a brain with a superb ability to make sense of incomplete data. We are very good at recognising patterns, reaching conclusions and make decisions fast. The problem is, we are sometimes driven to make conclusions, even when there is nothing in the data to support them. We then sort through the evidence, keeping stuff that confirms our beliefs and throw away the rest. Smart people are very good at defending beliefs arrived at by un-smart means.” End quot

Yours faithfully

Ken Meredith  

Secretary, Nelson Residents' Association Incorporated


 

 

 

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