Tony Hay - OIR No. 2 – Problem with the the Marlborough District Council in addressing complaints

Tony Hay made this Official Information request to Marlborough District Council

The request was refused by Marlborough District Council.

From: Tony Hay

Dear Marlborough District Council,

Please see Information posted in Tony Hay OIR No. 1 before proceeding.

Further Background:

My name is Tony Hay and I am the owner, along with my wife, of 42 Lakings Road, Springlands, Blenheim.

On the 26th March 2019 I approached the Marlborough District Council (MDC) to discuss the removal of the 2 trees, a willow oak and a pin oak on council road reserve “the berm” to the south of my property. Subsequently Robin Dunn, the MDC Reserves and Amenities Officer, visited on the 29th March 2019 and stated that he would get an arborist to do an assessment on the 2 trees and advise me of their findings and recommendations.

I laid out my thoughts in a document and emailed it through on the following Monday 1st April 2019.

I had already approached Marlborough Lines (ML) to ascertain the impact should the trees destroy the electricity transformer outside 41 Lakings Road. Having received ML assessment, I also emailed it through on Monday 8th April 2019.

Having heard nothing for three months I emailed Robin Dunn on the 5th June 2019 asking whether there had been any movement on this. I received no reply so I approached the arborist working for David James Tree Services (DJTS), Timothy Lovejoy, as I knew they had been tasked with the writing of this report. They stated that they had made a field visit on 1st July 2019 to collect data on the 2 trees and were currently compiling a risk assessment and general arboricultural assessment of the two trees.

In the meantime, I received an email from Robin Dunn on the 6th August 2019 stating that he was still awaiting the report from DJTS but that the trees in question had just been inspected by the Nelmac arborist and were recorded as being in good condition with no notable issues.

I was finally given access to the DJTS report via an Official Information Request (OIR) “Protection orders on 3 trees dated 13th August 2019” which I posted on the MDC web site.

One of the problems I have faced with getting any acknowledgement from the Marlborough District Council to take seriously my concerns, requests and complaints, centres around where they reside within the MDC. I requested that all my complaints be lodged in the MDC complaints database. Unfortunately, the rate payers of Marlborough do not have direct access to these complaints which essentially end up in a “black hole”. Certainly you can raise an OIR but you are dependent on knowing what you are looking for and being furnished with the complete and correct information.

For transparency what is required is a facility where ratepayers can see their complaint and track its resolution and progress. Obviously due to privacy issues not all the information would be available.

My Question:

With the limited availability of ratepayers to progress their complaints lodged with Council, and therefore Councils accountability to the ratepayers of Marlborough, has Council initiated a mechanism to address the issue by making this information freely available through their web site?

Yours faithfully,

Tony Hay

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From: MDC
Marlborough District Council

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Customer Services

Marlborough District Council

Phone 03 520 7400


15 Seymour Street, PO Box 443

Blenheim 7240, New Zealand

[2][Marlborough District Council request email]



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From: Tony Quirk-8077
Marlborough District Council

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Dear Mr Hay


I refer to request 2 which raises the initiating of a mechanism by making
information identified freely available through the website.  This is not
seen as an information request but in answer to your question it is not
seen as feasible.  Many complaints are personal and should not be made
available on the open website.  In addition complaints often deal with
third parties.


I have checked with others in the office.  They consider there would be a
high implementation cost and ongoing overhead which is not warranted.


That deals with question 2.



Tony Quirk

District Secretary




Phone:   03 520 7400


15 Seymour Street, PO Box 443

Blenheim 7240, New Zealand

[2][email address]




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