CONTRARY to what some may say, Thursday’s sitting at the council should be a relatively uncomplicated affair.

There are some things I’m really passionate about like dogs, the Oneroa walkway, Titirangi and the library extension, which should all be relatively straightforward.

There is also a recommendation from the Environmental Planning and Regulations committee, the acceptance of which by the full council should be clear cut and should go through with absolutely no problems.

The full council very rarely overturns a committee recommendation and I’m absolutely confident it will endorse this EPR recommendation. To annul or change a committee recommendation undermines the integrity and the autonomy of our committees; it is undemocratic and against due process. A dangerous precedent would be set to challenge future committee decisions if anything else other than an endorsement of the EPR recommendation occurs.

It is at the committee level where the discussion is had. After rigorous and robust debate, the committee makes an informed recommendation to the larger council. As members on the committee we don’t always agree and that is absolutely fine, it’s healthy for the debate, however the EPR committee made its democratic decision and the full council should respect it and endorse it.

Perhaps an EPR committee member may be feeling slight regret at not being able to make the committee meeting to be part of the discussion, decision and vote? If so, then that’s what happens when you miss it. EPR made its decision by a slight majority, but a majority nonetheless.

EPR’s submission has already been sent to MBIE, which is a completely normal thing to do when central government’s closing date for submissions is prior to our next council meeting.

As stated previously, the council is much more likely to endorse a committee recommendation, so it is absolutely safe to assume that would be the case this time — therefore making it completely reasonable for the submission to be sent to central government and for the council to retrospectively accept the recommendation. If our submission were changed at such a late stage it would possibly undermine all future recommendations our council makes to central government.

I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating, for council to do anything else but accept the recommendation from EPR goes against the spirit of the democratic process and shows a lack of faith in our committee. Some councillors may not agree with the recommendation and that’s OK because that’s what democracy looks like, but what we should all agree with is that the integrity of our committee processes is upheld.

I hear Vanuatu is lovely this time of year…