What happened on Wednesday?

Posted: 13/11/14

The key points - as we see them - from the recent WDC Extra Ordinary meeting, where Councillors voted to hold a binding referendum.

We’ve taken a little time to reflect on (and recover from) the drama of the WDC meeting. For those still wondering what really went down, here are the key facts (as we see them):

Of all proposals received, the Hundertwasser & Wairau Maori Art Centre scored the highest points against the WDCs own evaluation criteria.

Once it had become apparent the HWMAC was the leading contender, 5 Councillors immediately moved to have the proposal dropped entirely, citing…. no credible reasons.

The Mayor put her excellent ‘win win’ idea (let’s build them both!) into a motion, but couldn’t budge the NOs.

The fence-sitters successfully campaigned to spend more time and ratepayer money to (a) find out for absolutely positively sure that the HWMAC is the best proposal ($100k on evaluating the runner-up Harbourside project) and (b) ask an ill-informed public what they think ($80k+ on a March referendum).

The Mayor rightly pointed out that this pits two projects of merit into
a costly sudden-death battle, and that referendums are a waste of time and money.

Our elected Councillors, faced with a $10m gift to the city and a clearly outstanding proposal, agreed they were incapable of making a decision on our behalf, by themselves.

Those Councillors who wished to stall the outcome in the hope that HWMAC would lose existing funding and have to re-apply, got what they wanted.

On the positive side, you can be proud of ALL Councillors who spoke so well for right, reason and the HWMAC. In our minds, especially Mayor Mai, Cr Morgan and Cr Hermon – they were simply stellar.

What happens next?

That’s entirely up to Prosper Northland Trust. They are meeting soon and we’ll let you know as soon as we hear from them. We know they have a huge amount of support to continue.

Then we’ll formulate a plan and share it with you 

THANK YOU for your support – we do not say this lightly. The battle to build HWMAC has been long, arduous and messy. Your sticking with the cause gives us the will to fight on.

How did they vote? 

This Google Docs chart shows how WDC Councillors voted on Wednesday’s motions (and how they voted in 2012 on similar motions).

Media links: 

Radio National Morning report

Northern Advocate