Suggestions for Questions to Candidates

2019-05-27 from Paul Henson - Think Taupo
Changes need to be made to the Local Government Act so it actually has some teeth.

Currently it looks like a set of recommendations, not a legally binding set of rules, with no penalties for transgressions.

Access to Candidates' Curriculum Vitae should be a mandatory requirement.

Councillors may be vastly under-qualified to make multi-million decisions and have wasted $ millions.

Questions for candidates - details of their understanding of critical analysis, long term planning, independent decision making, evidence of consultation with the community
  • What general qualifications or experience do you have?
  • What financial experience or qualifications do you have?
  • (If current councillor) What evidence do you have of successful council projects?
  • What public meetings have you organised with ratepayers?
  • How would you vote (or would you have voted) on the following projects? (recent major council projects). Why?
  • How many consultants reports have you voted for and at what cost? 
  • How many of these reports have their cost justified in successful projects?
  • Show evidence that you can make strategic long term decisions.
  • Show evidence that you can do in-depth research into projects. 
  • Show evidence that you can make independent decisions and not just go along with a majority. 

Questions for Election candidates 2019 - Dargaville ( from Graham Jones )

  1. Water supply. When we had the dairy factory it consumed 1/3 of the total supply. Since it closed down we have had restrictions almost every year – so what happened to the supply that the factory relinquished? Is provision in place for extraction from the backup storage facility? Will you work to ensure adequacy of supply all year round?

  2. Dog control. Council has slight regard for enforcement of the relative bylaw, which is ignored by a large number of dog owners. Will you undertake to provide safety for all citizens and effective protection from uncontrolled dogs?

  3. Consultation. Will you undertake to engage in consultation on projects as required by the Local Government Act? Are there currently any contracts signed for projects that have not been consulted on?

  4. Local Government. Past Councils (and Commissioners) have acted with scant regard for legal requirements under the LGA and LGRA, and expended a great deal of ratepayer money in defending their positions in the courts when confronted by whistleblowers. Will you require that management and staff act at all times within the current laws?

  5. Accountability. The law requires accountability of councils to their communities, however this has proven to be an elusive concept for many years. Will you accept accountability for decisions you make or are party to?

  6. Transparency. Councils are advised to provide transparency in their dealings so as to encourage community support. Will you require openness in dealings rather than working in secret meetings?

  7. Local Government Funding Agency. Council has transferred borrowings to this agency in order to secure marginally lower interest rates. A corollary however is that a debenture has been required (over all assets) supported by a joint and several guarantee securing the LGFA borrowings of all councils. There has been no consultation on this matter, yet Kaipara ratepayers now stand as security for all such borrowings, most of which we have no knowledge or control of. Do you consider this to be ethical, or even illegal?