Double Standards


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Background Statutes Statistics Double Standards

A number of swimming pool owners in Waitakere City are being harassed into 
accepting fencing standards which defy all common sense and in some cases 
council officers have acknowledged they are not quite sure themselves of the 
limits required but are prepared to take matters to Court rather than let common
sense prevail. A number of us "pooled" together to take a class action against 
Waitakere City Council. If you have felt the weight of over-zealous bureaucratic
council intransigence and want more information, don't hesitate to contact 
Gary Osborne 834 4513 or 025 443 010.

So snowed under was the Waitakere District Court in June 2003 that over 60
swimming pool cases had to be postponed until September and were to be heard
by JP's as there weren't enough judges to go around. In September they were 
postponed until November. In November they were postponed until February 2004.
Meanwhile the Waitakere City Council sought a declaratory judgement, the hearing
for which was on the 2nd August 2004.

Yet have a look at the Council Stormwater Ponds below Danica Esplanade and in 
Harbour View Park. Built in 1997, concerns were expressed about their safety
aspect by ratepayers in 1999. It is recorded in the minutes of the Harbourview 
People's Park Working Party meeting on 29/1/02 chaired by Councillor Lawley
that Elizabeth Grimmer expressed safety concerns about the ponds. On 8/10/03
I rang Ray Kendall, Health & Safety officer, expressing concern over safety aspects. 
He was unaware of their existence.

On 21/10/03, in response to my question addressed to Ray Kendall "Do you accept
there is a real danger of a young child falling into one of these ponds?" Denis Sheard, 
Manager, Legal Services replied "Given the nature of the construction of Danica Pond 7
there is no risk of a young child "falling" into the water from the banks of the pond. 
There is however a residual risk that an unsupervised young child might venture into
the water, fall and accidentally drown."