Council misses own deadline for information

The Waitaki District Council failed to meet a self-imposed deadline for the release of public information this week.

After the council first said it would provide the Otago Daily Times with the entirety of the feedback it received in an August consultation on its district plan review by October 15, it later said it could not provide the information until after a closed-door councillor workshop on Tuesday this week.

On October 15, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher defended the delay in providing the feedback it received - but on Tuesday before the workshop he said the council "probably could have just handed over all the raw information".

"I hadn't seen it, it wasn't because there was something in it that you shouldn't see or anything like that, it's just the fact that we haven't seen it. There's nothing I'm aware of, maybe you'd find something out differently, but I don't know that there would be anything in there - because it's just people's opinions on stuff, and what does that matter as far as when it's known? It's not our position until we come to a position.

"Anyway, you'll get it shortly."

On Tuesday, council heritage, environment and regulatory group manager Lichelle Guyan emailed a summary of community feedback as well as 26 agencies' full submissions on the draft plan discussion document.

Since September 12, the ODT has requested the entirety of the more than 200 responses the council said it received and on numerous occasions the ODT has said a summary document of the feedback would not suffice.

The council could not say yesterday how many respondents were represented in the 49-page summary of community feedback it provided.

It also could not provide evidence yesterday all the information it had received was included in the summary.

The 188-page document contained 26 agency submissions to the plan review which were presented in their entirety and not presented in the same summary form as the community submissions. But they were not weighted any differently by the council, planning manager Hamish Barrell said.

The agencies' submissions were not summarised in the same way as the community feedback was, because the majority of the community feedback was received through an online survey, he said.

The estimated $3.63million Waitaki district plan review will set rules for subdivisions, the protection of the environment and heritage, and urban development, as well as rules for land use in rural areas until 2030.

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