Extraordinary meeting of the
Nelson City Council
Thursday 14 April 2016
Commencing at 9.00am
110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson
Public Forum - Kate Malcolm
Public Forum - Stuart Walker
Trafalgar Centre - Update on Request for Additional Items
Nelson Southern Link Investigation - Feedback Submission
Public Forum Input to NCC Thurs 14 Apr 2016
The decision you have to make today is whether or not to put in a submission, as a Council, to the Nelson Southern Link Investigation currently being conducted by NZTA. In my opinion, a Council submission at this stage is vitally important and I hope you'll reach the same conclusion.
It might be argued that you can't do this because you're divided on the matter. However, as in all your decisions, a consensus is not required; all that's needed is a simple vote revealing a majority, that majority vote then being accepted as the will of the Council. If you decide to remain passive simply because you can't agree, will you apply that principle to every matter that comes before you?
It may even be argued that now's not the right time; that the Council will have a chance to give input later on. But no. By then the general approach will have been decided. The question at issue right now is this – southern link or not? Later on will be too late to have any influence on what is called “the approach”. It's now or never.
It could also be argued that you're not in a position to make a submission not having gone through a formal consultation process - except that we're in the middle of such a process right now - the public engagement being conducted by the NZTA, where everyone has the chance to have a say. Also, you may have noticed that the Southern Link debate has been raging for years with people expressing their views left, right and centre. But more importantly, you, in your role as councillors, are in constant touch with your local communities and communities of interest, and the knowledge you gain informally by talking to people gives you the authority to vote on their behalf. Your knowledge includes, as a formal survey could not include, the concerns of people who are not assertive enough, not informed enough or whose English isn't good enough for them to ever take part in a formal written survey. You are the only conduit for these people's opinions and expressing their point of view is your responsibility.
(A couple of examples here if there's time)
I think you'll all agree that you, the Council with your staff, have a more complete overall understanding of Nelson's air quality issues, traffic concerns, town planning objectives and land stability problems than any other individual or group. Nobody is more qualified than you to make a submission.
And now you can. You can finally choose to participate. Don't just stand on the sidelines. Choose to participate!
53 Campbell Street