Category Archives: District Councils

The Corruption of Local Government: Plimmerton Farm, Porirua

In light of ex Mayor Feyen’s info on the Horowhenua this is on topic (see also our LG Watch pages/Horowhenua and peruse journalist Veronica Harrod’s info both here in ‘categories’ at left of page, & on Veronica’s public FB page. She writes extensively about property development).

From iso.org.nz

A whiff of corruption hangs over moves to urbanise Plimmerton Farm, a 384 hectare greenfield property within the Porirua district that has been bought by Plimmerton Development Ltd (PDL). The Porirua City Council and PDL are working together to get the property rezoned under the district plan from rural to an urban zone and pave the way for a 2,000 unit residential development. For several reasons, which I will touch on below, the site is wholly unsuitable for urban development. That is not just my opinion; the process for changing the district plan has attracted 138 submissions, mostly hostile to parts or the proposal as a whole. Big-hitters against the plan change include Forest & Bird and the QEII National Trust.

READ MORE

https://iso.org.nz/2020/08/01/corruption-local-government-plimmerton-farm-porirua/?fbclid=IwAR035EH6wp9poWRoC919m7YZj8_X7B2_CmfKXaLbclPooUkUJppX8HjtT_g

Photo: iso.org.nz

The state of local governance & why it needs to change

Horowhenua’s former mayor Michael Feyen offers many insights into how local governance has operated since the 1989 LG Act, information that many of us are not aware of. Michael points out what needs to change and why … vital info for moving forwards. EWR

The state of local governance today: Hear from an insider, former Horowhenua Mayor Michael Feyen speaks out

Those of you who’ve followed this site for more than a year will recall the term of former Horowhenua Mayor Michael Feyen. During his Mayoral term at the Horowhenua District Council he was, in his own words, nothing but stonewalled & neutered. (You can read some of the goings on from that council at the LG Watch pages, Horowhenua. See here also for articles on topic by journalist Veronica Harrod).

Almost a year out from ending that term, recently teaming with the NZPP, and highlighting for the public where he is coming from, he is speaking out in the first video on the state of local governance in NZ within the context of UN Agenda 2030 policies, an issue that the NZPP party is bringing to the forefront of discussion as we move toward election time. Even if you are not interested in the NZPP or any politics, have a listen and hear about how local governance operates since becoming corporatized. Michael also touches on other issues that percolate down from government (consultation, pollution, debt etc) and particularly on the corrupt state of affairs now. In the second video he speaks similarly about the DHBs. He is speaking from the unique view of an insider. Valuable information for moving forward. We are observing in this era, rapid changes and in a direction that most thinking citizens recognize is not right. We are witnessing daily the vanishing of more & more of our freedoms and particularly our democratic right to free speech. Time to turn the tide. EWR

Back from a $20,000 course, mayor displays his leadership skills in explaining plans for hefty rates rises

Well what’s new on the LG front? EWR

Point of Order

Wasn’t leadership among the attributes claimed by the Mayor of Wellington while campaigning for the job before the local body elections last year?

We thought so – until we heard he had been despatched (or despatched himself) to a leadership course near Queenstown.

The news was reported by Stuff:

Wellington ratepayers are forking out $20,000 for the mayor’s leadership programme at a luxury resort.

Multiple sources have confirmed to Stuff that Wellington Mayor Andy Foster was away on a six-day leadership retreat at Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown, north of Queenstown.

We can only wonder what they taught him, because the next thing we learn from the Wellington city council is that rates could be raised by 9.2%.

This is being contemplated at a time when coronavirus is taking a heavy toll on local households and businesses.

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Selling our water – 427 million litres at $943 (Māori Television)

From teaomaorinews 

A South Island iwi hope their freshwater spring will gain environmental protection after a local council granted a water bottling company consent to take 208 million litres a year for $470.

Already in the Tasman district, four water bottling companies have consent to take water from the area – at more than 427 million litres at a cost of $943.

In 2005, Tasman District Council gave Kahurangi Virgin Water Ltd consent to extract water near Te Waikoropupu Springs, which has one of the clearest freshwater in the world.

The company has yet to take any water from the sacred site and have applied for an extension. Local iwi Ngāti Tama was initially involved with the original resource consent but were not consulted about the extension and took the council to the High Court.

Ngāti Tama spokesperson Margaret Little says the springs need to be preserved and their court action was funded by the iwi’s Treaty settlement.

“The settlement has given us the financial backing to take them to court whereas before it would have been really difficult,” Little says.

Earlier this month, the Government announced it will consider giving the springs the highest level of conservation protection and grant it the same status as a national park.

Ngāti Tama says commercial demands from irrigation, farming and consent to take water from the Waikoropupu catchment are putting the resource under threat.

Andrew Yuill a local scientist and co-applicant along with Ngāti Tama say Te Waikoropupu is worth protecting for all New Zealanders.

“The clarity of the water was measured at a sight path of 63 metres which is almost unheard of. It has been a taonga for millions of years. It has its own life-force its own mauri and it is something which I respect greatly.”

Community Relations Manager Chris Choat from the Tasman District Council says the decision from the High Court means the council will now have to reconsider Kahurangi Virgin Water Limited’s application for a resource consent to draw water near the Te Waikoropupu Springs.

Below is a breakdown of how much water each company can take and the annual cost. Information provided by Tasman District Council.

New Zealand Mineral Water

  • Consent to take, 18 million litres per year at a cost of $190. B Reilly
  • Consent to take, 331,240,000 litres per year at a cost of $370. Johnstone
  • Consent to take – 76,388,000 litres per year at a cost of $190. Thompson
  • Consent to take – 1,820,000 litres per year at a cost of $193.

https://teaomaori.news/native-affairs–selling-our-water-427-million-litres-943?fbclid=IwAR28MV8EahBUba6RZZXPRggDZu0x2lg9IHucqI5neJysbFReul0wehO11n8

 

Photo: Te Waikoropupu Springs, NZ, Māori Television screenshot

Fish & Game council took legal advice to ignore dead man’s wishes, leaked audit report shows

Praps you’d better think carefully when you make a bequest for you money to be used as you wish for some worthy cause when you’re gone. Or double check the wording of your will. Seems like it could be a piece of cake to overturn your wishes on how your money is spent.

From the NZ Herald

A keen fisherman left $500,000 to Fish & Game in his will for restocking rivers with salmon – but they ignored his wishes and used it for, among other things, fixing their head office.

A Fish & Game regional council took legal advice to ignore the last wishes of the keen angler, a leaked report shows.

An investigation into North Canterbury Fish & Game Council was launched earlier this year after five of its own councillors raised financial and transparency concerns and questioned how a generous bequest was being spent.

A draft review of the audit’s findings, leaked to the Herald on Sunday, also calls for the appointment of an independent chair to guide the troubled council through its difficulties.

The report reveals that passionate Christchurch fisherman James Walter McIntyre left more than $500,000 to North Canterbury Fish & Game in his will.

The conditions of the bequest, seen by the Herald on Sunday, stated: “I gift – my residuary estate to Fish & Game NZ North Canterbury. Without imposing any trust, I request that a member of the NZ Salmon Angler’s Association be present when Fish & Game NZ make any decision on using the benefit received under this will and that the benefit received be used to restock the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers with salmon.”

On March 7, 2017, the North Canterbury group received $500,000 and, on June 26, the “balance of the bequest”, a further $23,935.24.

After taking “high-level legal advice” in August last year, North Canterbury Fish & Game Council chairman Trevor Isitt advised that they were “not bound by the estate wishes”, the draft audit report states.

In March this year, $49,500 was used for improvements to the regional council’s Johns Rd head office in Christchurch.

The following month, interest on the money totalling $16,875 in two payments, was made to the Water and Wildlife Habitat Trust – a separate entity with independent trustees but which receives funding from North Canterbury Fish & Game.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12133324

Some very unpleasant home truths from a Kiwi Ex-1080 poison worker

From tasmaniantimes.com

A pest worker who worked for a New Zealand local council Environment Waikato for two years, has damned 1080 poison as cruel and destructive of bird life.

Graeme Merekara Shelford, now resident in Australia, said he had a mixture of sadness and anger over the inhumane nature of the poison and that contrary to the claims of government departments and councils using the toxin, it was killing the vast numbers of bird life.

“Numerous times I was told 1080 doesn’t kill anything but possums. I was just ignorant of the damage because of what I was told, but I learned firsthand that is just not true,” he said.

The poison is used by government agencies and local councils to kill predators supposedly annihilating native birds but was killing birds themselves and insects, food for insectivorous birds such as robins and fantails.

Graeme Shelford was involved in trapping, using 1080 and also aerial drops of the poison, which often involved visiting farmers’ properties to talk to landowners before using 1080. His boss was frequently involved in arguments with farmers.

“The farmers looked at us as if we were taking their farms. They didn’t want the toxic stuff. Many of them knew how nasty 1080 is.”

READ MORE

http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?/article/kiwi-ex-1080-poison-worker-condemns-1080-poison/

For further info on 1080 visit our 1080 pages (main menu) which include a complete list of  resources and links. For other 1080 articles use ‘categories’ at the top left of the news page. If you’re new to the issue a must watch is Poisoning Paradise (links at our pages) a four times international award winning doco by NZ’s GrafBoys that is banned from screening in NZ. Visit their own website called tv-wild.com. They also have a channel on Youtube by the same name or search ‘GrafBoys’.

Why is the Horowhenua DC declining MBIE’s free offer to look into their cracked building?

An interesting council meeting to say the least was held at Levin on Wednesday night in the Horowhenua (29th August 2018). As usual there’s been the same old predictable coverage from mainstream media, NZ journos faithful to their masters, the long arm of NZ’s new reigning corporatocracy.

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The Herald’s coverage, that featured a super king size photo of the deputy mayor (with the essential enlargeable-to-full-screen option) focused primarily on the FB hate speech issue raised by Mayor Feyen (twisted neatly at the meeting into a ‘pot calling the kettle black scenario’) & his alleged desire to be a dictator, with nary a whisper about the constant drones over the his house. (The Mayor even had proof but no it was passed right over).

The Herald did make mention, albeit brief, of the CE’s disinclination to “accept an offer from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to conduct further structural assessments of the council building” (the one the dodgy now defunct company with a multitude of their buildings now classified earthquake prone in their wake that HDC has always seemed hell bent on protecting, I mean why would you not go after a company that left you with a cracked basement?) … and the Herald failed to mention the offer was FREE. No charge at all, yet still a firm ‘NO THANKS’ from the HDC majority.

Wouldn’t it have been smarter from all angles, to accept the offer & the opportunity to prove themselves right?

Something looks very wrong with that picture doesn’t it?


You can watch a replay of the meeting at HDC’s website. I suggest you do if you’d like to hear all the detail that mainstream media didn’t offer.  Not many watch the live stream these days which is why the Mayor asked for it to be put back, unedited, onto Facebook where it was getting up to 4,000 views. No go for all the councilors bar one. They preferred the edited edition with a mere few hundred watching.

 

Guy Burns: a sad day for local government: Kapiti is subsidising Air Chathams to the tune of $150K

The Kapiti council has a generous spirit it seems, just like the Horowhenua council that gifted $1.86 million to Willis & Bond property developers, a private company also. Really nice of them. And here, Kapiti have gifted $150K to a private airline company. Not quite as generous as Horowhenua but getting there. I am sure the ratepayers of both Kapiti & Horowhenua …. indeed throughout NZ these days are enjoying eating their cake. They had better because next of course, as everybody knows, the rates will hike sky high, easy pickings again for property developers.

Waikanae Watch

Air Chathams Air Chathams has flown profitably from the mainland to the Chatham Islands since 1984 — the KCDC courted them to fly from Paraparaumu to Auckland.  “No problem,” said Air Chathams, “provided you subsidise us.”  “Sure,” said councilors, “how much do you want?”

 “It’s a sad day for local government in Kapiti” says Guy Burns in response to news Kapiti Coast District Council will give $150,000 to help Air Chathams start flying from Paraparaumu to Auckland.

 “Councillors have shown poor judgement handing over ratepayers’ money to a private, profit making business. Air Chathams needs to stand on its own feet if it thinks it’s feasible to fly out of Paraparaumu.

 “Rate rises are high, debt levels have sky rocketed. There’s no place for local government subsidising private enterprise. In fact KCDC have lost millions over the years in failed attempts to promote economic development.

 “KCDC should stick to the basics of…

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