“The purpose of the Horowhenua District Council is to enable democratic local decision making to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well being of the Horowhenua District in the present and for the future… ”
Horowhenua District Council
The Horowhenua Dictrict Council’s Ross Campbell, elected representative of the Miranui
Ward, expresses his growing concern about the way things at the HDC are run, in particular, with whom important information is shared and the way decisions are being made.
Horowhenua Mayor Duffy has a select Committee of close business associates – a non-elected, hand picked business group with no sworn allegiance to the district, that tells the elected councilors how to vote. Cr Campbell is not alone in his concern.
Fellow Councilor Michael Feyen of Foxton confirms what Cr Campbell is saying … “Take the time to have a listen to Councillor Ross Campbell’s very good summation of what we are up against in this HDC District. If the Horowhenua wants to progress it won’t be under the current regime.” Both Cr Feyen and Cr Campbell speak out regularly about the polluting practices of local government. Cr Campbell was allegedly assaulted in 2004 for his active part in this.
Listen to Cr Campbell’s recent announcement from his Facebook page (the following is a transcript):
“My name is Ross Campbell and as most of you know I’m the District Councilor for the Miranui Ward which takes in Tokomaru & Shannon, Opiki, Buckley & Mangaore and this lovely part of the district of Miranui.
I’ve got a few things that concern me when I’m in Council. One of them is these … we get a lot of information at Council … we get information from the NZTA you know, that’s the roading people; we get Government departments telling us all sorts of statistics and things, what they are likely to do and what they want to do. We get a lot of information from statistics of course, we get market trends, we get inquiries from overseas investments … we get information from Regional Councils, Health Boards and so it goes on … there’s a lot of information coming in. This information is meant to be used in briefings to councillors, to help them in their decisions, planning the district, and which way we want to go, if we want to go forward or we want to go sideways or whatever the case might be, and so we use this information to help us make decisions. But this concern is something that I want to bring to you … it’s not always the case.
Our Mayor … some of you might not know this … our Mayor has formed a group of his closest business associates. They’re the people who he mixes with. And together with these associates there are developers, there are retailers, there are manufacturers, contractors, who have been selected by him. They’ve formed themselves into what we call an Economic Development Committee. That’s what the Council calls it but I actually call it an Economic Advantage Committee … over their competitors. You see all the information that we receive is passed on to this committee who are not elected people … they’ve not been elected to be there by you, who may be arguably your closest competitor in your business, and these people all get an unfair advantage over their closest rivals, and that rival could be you.
Because of all this information coming in, they know where the trends are, they know the direction the council’s thinking. They are privy to information that gives them an advantage over others, especially at this time when we councillors are told often to be quiet about the different possibilities that may happen.
These business associates of the Mayor actually came to our table at Council the other night and addressed us and advised us to vote for the policies that would benefit them!
What is that? To me that’s insider trading. I call it that but you may call it something different. But I’m not allowed.
This handful of business associates that our Mayor has selected are receiving an advantage over their competitors, and it’s just not right. These folks have not been elected by you. They’ve never sworn allegiance to the district, and are being rewarded for their faithfulness to the Mayor.
Go figure. What do you think? Just last week a decision was made to announce to the retailers in Levin as to where the road of national significance was going. But we wouldn’t announce it until February 2017. As it was told to us by the Mayor we shouldn’t announce it before the election as the Mayor, because of this, could get skinned alive. So just whose interests are we looking after? Folks, we must get out there and vote, and elect those you trust … not those who are there to furnish the Mayor’s ego and their own business pockets. That is one of my concerns and over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the other concerns I have. They are concerns that I believe you need to know about … that we haven’t got a Council that’s working directly for you … we’ve got a Council that is working for the few.”
Now, take a look at the mission statement if you like, of the Horowhenua District Council copied straight from their website:
Council’s Responsibilities and Activities
“The purpose of the Horowhenua District Council is to enable democratic local decision making to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well being of the Horowhenua District in the present and for the future.
Council is made up of the Mayor and 10 Councillors (elected members). They are responsible for determining local policy and legislation, and defining the overall vision for the Horowhenua District. Council makes decisions on behalf of the ratepayers and residents.”
The Mayor’s Role
“The Mayor is elected by the District “as a whole”, and as one of the elected members, shares the same responsibilities as other members of Council.” Some of the Mayor’s roles that relate to Cr Campbell’s concerns [abbreviated] are:
- Advocate on behalf of the community
- Provide leadership and feedback to other elected members on teamwork and chairing committees.
Here is a link to the full pdf file Governance Statement 2014 – 2017 A Guide for the Community on Council Processes
Councils nowadays are fine in their rhetoric, or should I say spin? What they are doing is regularly a very different matter. They should be making decisions DEMOCRATICALLY … on behalf of ratepayers and residents, and not on behalf of the Mayor’s close business associates!!
Horowhenua people, see what is going on in your District governance. Be sure to vote for change this October. Vote for honesty and transparency.
Please help us expose the corruption and lies by our local governments by sharing this information!