skip to main content
Site banner

The Ōtaki Community Board has had two sessions of mediation to resolve differences at a total cost to the ratepayer of more than $5400.

The mediation sessions were on December 8, less than two months after members were elected in October, and on February 1. They were conducted by Karen Vaughan of Hummingbird Effect Ltd, a company that says on its website that it provides “strategic advice and conflict resolution services”.

Asked for comment about the mediation, community board chair Cam Butler said in a statement:

“We see it as a team building exercise which worked really well and I have recommended that the mayor consider it for all community boards at the start of each triennium.”

No community board within Kāpiti Coast District Council has ever had mediation before. If mediation such as deemed necessary at Ōtaki were to become a part of the process for each of the five Kāpiti boards at the start of their term, the total cost would be about $27,000.

Ōtaki Today became aware of the mediation late last year after it was clear there were significant differences of opinion about roles within the board.

At its first meeting, on December 6, Cam Butler was voted in as chair, securing the votes of former chair Chris Papps and new board member Simon Black. Former councillor Jackie Elliott voted against and new Ōtaki Ward councillor Shelly Warwick abstained.

Even before that meeting, there appeared to be problems at the new board.

Ōtaki Today reported in November that Chris Papps was being challenged for publicly saying before the election that she would nominate Cam Butler as chair.

Some on the new board suggested that she had pre-empted the decision and should exclude herself from the vote and make a public apology. She did neither.

By December 8, two days after its first meeting, the first session of mediation began.

In response to a formal request by Ōtaki Today for information, KCDC said the Ōtaki board, “in consultation with the mayor, requested mediation to be organised in order for the board to reach consenus on a way forward as a newly elected board, that had not previously worked together”.

The mediation was organised by council staff, whose time was not included in the cost figures provided.

The mediation involved initial one-on-one meetings between facilitator Karen Vaughan of Hummingbird Effect and each board member.

This was followed by two further sessions, including:

• a four-hour session with the facilitator and all members of the board on December 8 in the Rimu Room at Coastlands

• a follow-up two-hour session on February 1 at the Gertrude Atmore supper room in Ōtaki.

KCDC said the charge for conducting the facilitation sessions was $5175 and the cost for room hire was $201.25 (Coastlands) and $26 (Ōtaki), taking the total cost to $5402.25. The cost was fully charged to the council.

KCDC confirmed that no community board – either in Ōtaki or in the other four wards – has had formal mediation in the past to resolve issues.




... loading ...

Mediation at community board

+ Text Size -

Skip to TOP

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the server!