17 Jun 2019

Councillor subpoenaed to give evidence in High Court over $41m pool complex

11:46 am on 17 June 2019

A Napier City Councillor has been subpoenaed to give evidence in High Court proceedings filed by a group of residents seeking to overturn the council's decision to build a new $41 million pool complex.

Artists rendering of the proposed pool in Napier.

An artist's rendering of the proposed pool in Napier. Photo: Supplied

The Friends of Onekawa Aquatic Centre, set up this month to challenge the council's decision, said the council failed to properly consult with the community over its decision to relocate the Napier Aquatic Centre from its current site in Onekawa to a new site on Prebensen Drive on the outskirts of the city.

Councillor Kirsten Wise, who voted against the development, confirmed she had been subpoenaed by the group and had filed an affidavit based on a speech she had given at a council meeting in December on the pool issue.

"My speech was actually a full timeline of a whole series of events that occurred around the project. They also asked me to expand on a couple of the points I made in there, in particular around concerns I have expressed about our double-debate process, and that councillors hadn't had a real opportunity to deliberate on decisions."

The subpoena came as Napier City Council chief executive Wayne Jack warned councillors earlier this month not to attend a public meeting organised by Friends of Onekawa Aquatic Centre.

He said it was a conflict of interest considering the legal action against the council and councillors risked being being disqualified from future debates on the issue if they did.

The Friends of Onekawa Aquatic Centre's lawyer Martin Williams said all affidavits had to be filed by 10 July and a hearing would be set as soon as possible after that date.