Horowhenua Council’s Secret Payout (Kapiti Independent)

From Kapiti Independent News

The Horowhenua Council’s Chief Executive confidentially agreed to provide nearly a million dollars to Te Runanga o Raukawa provided it did not object to a wastewater scheme.

Chief executive David Clapperton made the confidential agreement to provide at least $880,500 to Te Runanga o Raukawa on the proviso the Runanga withdraw its objection to council’s resource consent application to make discharges from the Foxton Waste Water Treatment Plant to Matakarapa Island.

A leaked copy of the September 2017 draft agreement states that Te Runanga o Raukawa (TRoR), “will withdraw their submissions to Horizons [regional council and] the Environment Court in respect of proceedings within 5 working days of TRoR signing this agreement.”

Obligations for Rununga

The agreement also states TRoR will, “not participate in any way (including supporting any other party) in the Foxton Waste Water Treatment Plant (FWWTP) proceedings before the Environment Court in respect of proceedings..or any other regulatory or statutory proceedings related to the current proposal for the discharge of treated human wastewater from FWWTP to land at Matakarapa…”

The agreement defines Matakarapa Island as approximately, “364.3 hectares of land to the south west of Foxton township comprising several parcels of land in ownership of several entities.”

Councillor Ross Campbell said he attended a breakfast signing event for the agreement at Foxton’s Returned Services Association (RSA) on 29 September 2017 where he was told the agreement had been signed by Larry Parr on behalf of TRoR  and Mr Clapperton behind closed doors.

Never debated by Councillors

“This is a huge sum of money distributed to a collective group for purposes which have not been disclosed to the public or debated by council for consideration,” he said.

Mr Clapperton has delegated authority to spend up to $1 million annually on specified contracts for services and Mr Parr was one of seven hapu who signed a March 6, 2018 letter supporting Mr Clapperton’s reappointment as council chief executive after his first five year term ended earlier this year.

The Office of the Auditor General confirmed the funding will be paid to TRoR under Mr Clapperton’s delegated authority in a letter to former councillor Anne Hunt which stated, “I also understand that the arrangements with Te Runanga o Raukawa were made with delegated authority by Mr Clapperton.”

‘Strict confidentiality’

The agreement has strict confidentiality clauses including, “Affected hapu members must keep confidential, and not disclose to any other person, or use for any other purpose the terms and conditions of the Matakarapa Agreement. The Parties may make public statements that agreement has been reached on a confidential basis.”

Horowhenua Mayor Michael Feyen

Mayor Michael Feyen said he has, “only seen an incomplete draft”, that he took, “no part in negotiations” and “did not sign it, as I would expect I would do as mayor.”

After Cr Ross tried to table a copy of the agreement at the November 22 council meeting last year several councillors, including deputy mayor Wayne Bishop, Crs Victoria Kaye-Simmons, Barry Judd, Neville Gimblett, Jo Mason and Christine Mitchell, walked out which meant the council meeting had to be cancelled due to lack of a quorum.

The minutes of the November 22 council meeting state, “This document has not been furnished to the Chief Executive and does not, therefore, form part of the official record of the meeting.”

The draft agreement also includes a clause that some of the funding can be used, “subject to HDC Councillor approval” with the word Councillor struck out, “to invest in the purchase of 28 Harbour Street, Foxton…if the purchase of 28 Harbour Street, Foxton…is not approved…TRoR (Rununga) may seek to utilise the funding..to invest in another suitable property agreed to by both Parties.”

SOURCE

http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/horowhenua-councils-secret-payout/#comment-718586

COUNCILOR ROSS CAMPBELL’S COMMENT AT SOURCE:

Thanks you to the Kapiti Independant News for bringing this Agreement between TE RUNANGA o RAUKAWA & HDC CE out into the Public view. As you seem to be aware I tried to make this “Agreement” Public at a Full Council meeting on the 22nov 2017. This Agreement had been left in an envelope in my Council letter Box by a concerned person I guess.
I was astonished at its contents, so I decided to table it at the Council meeting(22 Nov). When I endeavoured to do this I requested that our CE remove himself from the table as I believed he to be involved and would therefore have a “Conflict of Interest” if he remained. I tabled the Agreement to the Chair as is the normal way to Table a document and then those Councillors you mentioned left the Chambers in an awful hurry. When the recorded minutes came out for this meeting it was recorded incorrectly ( this happens a lot) stating that I had only given the Document to the Mayor and therefore wasn’t Tabled.( THe Mayor was the residing Chair) so I became gagged by incorrect minutes of the 22nov meeting. I believe that the actions of the other Councillors who left the meeting indicated to me that they may have had prior knowledge of the Ageement and therefore endeavoured to stop the proceedings by removing themselves and causing a lack of corum but it was too late I had tabled the Agreement thus making it Public knowledge.
I would like to see any minutes recording or indicating that Council have given their approval for our CE to sign off an Agreement of this Magnitude and if there is one show it to me. This Agreement has not been approved by a full Council and can not be signed without “Delegated Authority” being given by the Governance Group which is the Councillors it did not even go across the Mayors desk for his approval.WHY? These actions by our CE has put us in a position of embarrassment and a big credibility deficit before our Horowhenua Constituents

Questions that must be Answered!
1. Has the CE set a Precedent now that all matters being heard before our Courts be they Enviromental or others be $$$ bought off with Ratepayers money and the TRoR have indicated to all including their own that their Greviences can be settled in this manner “If the Price is Right”
2. Why didn’t TRoR consult with its supporters. (274s) who had at their own cost and supported them and their claims for a long time and believed in their cause around the matter of Waste Water on their Sacred sites suddenly get left holding the can while TRoR sold out for “Thirty Pieces of Silver”. NEVER AGAIN!
3. Why did TRoR negotiate with the HDCs CE and not as is normal “Rangatira to Rangatira” This has caused a lot of concerns within Raukawa. Maori protocols have been overlooked in order to get a monetary outcome and many are not pleased.
4. Why didn’t the HDC COUNCILLORS who knew this was going on not speak up but run for cover
5. Should we be using Ratepayers money to circumvent the Legal process through the RMA etc and Enviromental Court proceedings? This is a very large sum of money over 30 years!
6. Has this Agreement opened the door to a settlement process that we as Ratepayers are not prepared to fund, or are we?
7. How long has this been going on in our Council and what amounts have we paid out over the years and to who there are a number of MOUs that cost us a lot, with who?

These are my concerns personally and I share them with you so that you may understand my frustration when this is going on behind closed doors.

3 thoughts on “Horowhenua Council’s Secret Payout (Kapiti Independent)”

  1. How can a sign off for such a large sum of ratepayers money be signed off behind closed doors? How does the system allow this to happen? Yet again it clearly demonstrates the willingness of Maori to “take backhanders”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome to HDC Neville. If you check out our Local Govt Watch pages Horowhenua, you’ll see the rot set in way back. And I’d say SOME Maori Neville. As from the days of old when the colonizer first set foot, they will find a way no matter what, & enough willing signatories is all it takes. And we know the councils are rife with this behaviour right now. They will buy off whomever is willing be they Maori or anybody else. Corruption knows no racial bounds. Sad but true.

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