Council demand community safety for Wanganui - 28/08/2012
Wanganui District Council today met to discuss its response to the judicial review hearing in the High Court yesterday and the reality that Stewart Murray Wilson will be paroled to the Wanganui District.
Mayor Annette Main took the opportunity to acknowledge the validity of Council undertaking legal proceedings but the time had come to decide the next steps forward.
“We have taken the opportunity, as a Council, to think about what to do next in the best interests of our community, to protect our people and our way of life,” says Mayor Main.
“It is imperative we take a responsible and mature approach on behalf of our community and work alongside them, and relevant agencies including the Police and the Corrections Department.
“The Corrections Department and the Police need to be able to convince us, and convince the community, that their plan to keep us all safe from this man will work.
“Council has adopted a multi-pronged approach to the issues we are now faced with. This includes lobbying the government for a retrospective law change to ensure no other community in New Zealand is faced with a similar situation.
“We also resolved to develop a Community Safety Plan, bringing together relevant agencies and representatives from the community to work to have an open and robust part to play in the decisions that surround the management of Stewart Murray Wilson in the future. This will be led by Cr Baker-Hogan.
"Our community also has the tool of issuing trespass notices open to it. They are able to show their aversion to this man entering their businesses premises. Councillors Stevens and Bullock will be coordinating this community approach. At the same time Council will be issuing our own trespass orders against Wilson so that he cannot enter Council owned parks, reserves and recreational spaces.
"Council has come up with a proactive response to the myriad of issues that the parole of Stewart Murray Wilson has provoked and I believe our community will respond in a positive way to them.
"We have a strong community in Wanganui and we are determined it will be a safe community in which to live, to work and raise our families.”
During the meeting building and resource consents for the dwelling at 195 Pauri Road were approved.
The following resolutions were passed:
THAT a legal opinion, once Justice Young has released his decision, on whether the Wanganui District Council has any credible grounds for appeal be sought.
THAT Mayor Main, Cr Westwood, Cr McDouall and Cr Laws be made responsible for implementing an action plan that mandates the resolution of 16 August 2012 – That the Council urgently lobby for retrospective legislation and political action to stop the parole of Stewart Murray Wilson into he Wanganui community.
THAT Wanganui District Council officers and agencies be employed as required to assist in the implementation of the action plan.
THAT this group be responsible for reporting back to the Council on progress and implementation of the action plan.
THAT the Council facilitates the formation of a community safety group involving the Department of Corrections, the NZ Police, the Probation Service, local residents, Councillors, Council staff and agencies involved in the care of those exposed to sexual offending, with the intention of forming a Community Safety Plan for the release of Stewart Murray Wilson.
THAT Cr Stevens and Cr Bullock mandate the resolution – That the Council co-ordinates a community shunning/trespass of Stewart Murray Wilson if paroled into the Wanganui community.
THAT Wanganui District Council trespass Stewart Murray Wilson from all parks, reserves and recreational spaces in the Wanganui District.
THAT the Building Consent and Resource Consent applications by the Corrections Department are approved.