Category Archives: Economics

New Zealand’s national debt equates to $24,000 for every man, woman and child

From seemorerocks.is

But that figure excludes PRIVATE debt

Recent news, such as this, that I will discuss elsewhere, has caused me to think once again about NZ’s debt levels.

Public servants’ pay is being frozen for three years, but not the rates the sector pays to thousands of contractors and consultants

Articles about New Zealand’s debt are like hen’s teeth (about half a dozen articles over about ten) years about this came out at the end of January this year.

The message (just as it was under John Key – “nothing to worry about”!).

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https://seemorerocks.is/new-zealands-national-debt-equates-to-24000-for-every-man-woman-and-child/?fbclid=IwAR1CBpJrs_H6-uL7dclSsofqlDafICptdXkabr5Kxb0jkyqpx2yOJ1Xojdc

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Learn the scope of the ‘plan’ – the intended destination for you (Catherine Austin Fitts)

An excellent & intriguing interview with Catherine Austin Fitts. Learn more by following the links below. EWR

Truth Matters 36K subscribers

This sit down interview with Catherine covers the spectrum of the current situation we find ourselves in. It was conducted as apart of the full length documentary. We are releasing the full interview for the betterment of public understanding of the situation. Catherine’s analysis can be found at: https://home.solari.com The full film, when released, will be available at https://www.PlanetLockdownFilm.com Sign up to receive notification of the release of the feature length documentary film and full interviews by clicking here: https://aw6dcc5.aweb.page/p/28c34ce9-… Make a donation to fund more videos like this: gf.me/u/zdqxz7
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Will Horowhenua ratepayers be paying for new water systems?… a demand created by land developers whom Council have exempted from Development Contributions

Information on financial impacts of new water and waste water systems still not available: All ratepayers potentially impacted.

Horowhenua District Council has refused to answer a direct question on the expected financial impact on ratepayers if new water and waste water systems are installed in five targeted areas including Waitarere, Hokio, Ohau, Manakau and Levin.

In response to a question asking for the impact “in dollar terms” Mr Clapperton replied, “Page 18 of the Consultation Document [2018-2038 Long Term Plan] explains the annual increase in rates for all households in the district currently connected to water.

“Within the new infrastructure settlements rates would increase by more since they would begin to pay the Water Supply Targeted rate when they start to receive this service.”

The service is forecasted to be delivered between 2027 and 2036. Waitarere has a waste water system but no water system.

As if Mr Clapperton’s answer isn’t confusing enough page 18 of the consultation document contains a table which includes the expected rates increases in each targeted area which gives the impression only the rate where the ratepayer lives will be applied.

However, the consultation document also makes the statement, “This additional service would mean an increase…for ALL [emphasis mine] households in the Horowhenua District who are connected to water [and waste water] services.”

A resident living in one of the targeted areas said in a conversation she had with the council’s asset manager engineer Sarie Van der Walt, the LTP contact on infrastructure included in the consultation document, ratepayers would be charged all the rates increases in the targeted area; not just the rate increase for the area where they lived.

Combined the total amounts to an expected $646.70 annual increase in rates but this is still less than half the amount councillor Christine Mitchell said rates are likely to increase in Waikawa Beach if new water and waste water systems are built.

Cr Mitchell reportedly made the comment at the last Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association AGM in December 2017 which was included in the WBRA newsletter as a predicted $1500 annual increase. She has not responded to requests for comment.

The council has therefore been asked the same question again to provide dollar figures for the expected rates impact if council’s preferred option of installing new water and waste water systems is adopted by council.

If ALL ratepayers connected to water and waste water systems are affected this could also impact ratepayers in all the other areas including Levin, Foxton, Foxton Beach, Tokomaru and Shannon.

Existing ratepayers are concerned they are having to pay for a demand created by land developers who have not had to pay one cent towards essential infrastructure costs since council cancelled development contributions in 2015.

In answer to this inequity Mr Clapperton said, “Council will be looking at several options to assist with funding growth-related projects, Development Contributions being one of the options available.”

However in the consultation document council says it won’t be considering the reintroduction of development contributions paid by land developers towards essential infrastructure until year 2019-2020.

Submissions on the consultation 20 year Long Term Plan close on March 26. The same day as consultations on the 2040 draft Growth Plan and Earthquake prone buildings also closes.

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Official Information Act request refused by Horowhenua District Council

By Veronica Harrod

An Official Information Act request for the minutes of economic development board meetings held in 2016 and 2017 has been refused by Horowhenua District Council.
In response to the request council’s chief executive David Clapperton said, “The Horowhenua Economic Development Board is not a committee of the Horowhenua District Council. Council is not required to hold and does not possess copies of Horowhenua Economic Development Board meeting minutes. We are therefore unable to provide the information you have requested.”
Profiles of the nine members of the economic development board featured on the council website include three councillors. Deputy mayor Wayne Bishop who is also deputy chair of the economic development board, and councillors Barry Judd and Piri-Hira Tukapua.
Board chairperson Cameron Lewis is rumoured to be standing as mayor at the next local body elections. He has been asked to confirm whether this information is true and his response will be published once confirmation or denial has been received.
Other members on the board include men regarded as “captains of industry” Andy Wynne, Antony Young, Evan Kroll, Larry Ellison and Ron Turk.
The request was made because of concerns the board is having an undue and unmandated amount of influence and control over decisions made by council.
Horowhenua’s economic development three year strategy (2014-2017) states it is, “a ten year vision to guide three year outcomes, priorities, actions and initiatives” that was developed, “with business as well as the council, regional council, central government and council’s key partners.”
The strategy also states an intention to take, “economic development…to the centre of council’s actions.”
After the Official Information Act (OIA) request was received the council removed the profiles of board members from its website in the first instance.
When asked to comment on why this had been done council’s communications advisor Trish Hayward said, “Council is in the process of updating the information, layout and photographs on the Horowhenua Economic Development Board page of our website. The page has been temporarily deactivated while the update is carried out. We expect the update to be complete, and the page to be reactivated, early this year.”
The profiles and page featuring board members has been activated again.
The OIA request has been referred to the Office of the Ombudsman to determine whether council is required to release the minutes of board meetings for 2016 and 2017.

Click on the heading below to go to HDC’s website featuring the board members …

Horowhenua Economic Development Board (Members)


Note: I do recall clearly in the council meeting where the Mayor’s chosen deputy was demoted, shortly after his election. One of the reasons given for his demotion at the time in that public-allowed meeting was because he had spoken out about his concerns regarding these non-elected people who were members of the above board, having access to council/business information ahead of their potential competitors. The board members were named one by one at the time & those present were told that these people provided employment for the Horowhenua. Since that time one of those employers has shifted operations to Vietnam with a loss of 30 local jobs. You can read about that here:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11857632

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 



Veronica Harrod
is a qualified journalist with a Master of Communications specialising in traditional and new media content. Investigating and reporting on political, economic and legislative trends that negatively impact on the day to day lives of people is one of her main areas of interest. Lifestyle content she is interested in includes celebrating our own especially the tireless work community advocates do as civil citizens participating in democracy to keep those in power on their toes. In a media age dominated by a multi billion dollar communications and public relations industry paid to manipulate information to protect and advance the interests of the few over the many there have to be journalists who are impervious to the all pervasive influencial role they have over local and central government and corporate interests.

For more information about Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.

Horowhenua: a political environment where the tail wags the dog … the steady erosion of democracy in Aotearoa

By Veronica Harrod
January 15

Horowhenua: a political environment where the tail wags the dog

“…the majority of Horowhenua residents are increasingly finding themselves caught in a ‘tail wagging the dog’ political environment where the economic development board is the tail determining the direction and decisions of council which is the dog and not a very friendly dog at that.”

Four days after an Official Information Act request was made for the 2016 and 2017 Horowhenua District Council economic development board minutes the council removed information about the economic development board from its website.
Council’s communications advisor Trish Hayward said, “Council is in the process of updating the information, layout and photographs on the Horowhenua Economic Development Board page of our website. The page has been temporarily deactivated while the update is carried out. We expect the update to be complete, and the page to be reactivated, early this year.”

Former mayor Brendan Duffy led the charge to bring the economic development board’s predecessor Enterprise Horowhenua back under council control and Mr Duffy features prominently in Horowhenua’s economic development 2014-2017 strategy which is referred to as, “a ten year vision to guide three year outcomes, priorities, actions and initiatives..”
The council document states the strategy was developed “with business as well as the council, regional council, central government and our key partners.” The intention of council to take, “an active role…by leading the development of this strategy, and committing to its priority actions” was signed off by Mr Duffy despite the fact residents were not consulted.
A key initiative of the strategy to, “review council’s development contributions policy to support Horowhenua’s economic development agenda” is indicative of the amount of influence the strategy has over the direction and decisions council makes that reverberates today.
Two other key initiatives which resonate today include an intention to, “create opportunities to ‘catalyse’ economic development through an aligned property assets strategy” which is one of the main reasons the economic development board wants to set up a Trust and, “Identify and develop mechanisms to help create a more business-friendly culture within Council.”
Council employs an economic development manager Shanon Grainger, a growth response project manager Daniel Haigh and has recently appointed a “customer and development enabler” Melissa Hanson, a role that council says in a press release has been created specifically to, “provide a more personalised service to valued business customers.”
On development contributions council didn’t just review contributions land developers used to make toward essential infrastructure (including water and waste water) it canned them in 2015 further enabling the roll out of a plethora of land development projects many of which are outlined in the 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan.

The public was not consulted on the 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan either, instead publicly excluded workshops were held with land developers.

This means two very influential documents created by the few (and, arguably, for the few) are having a disproportionate amount of power and influence over decisions made by council. The fact both documents continue to be so influential today indicates main players inside council remain determined to continue an agenda the public have been excluded from commenting on or being consulted about as is required under the Local Government Act.

Instead the majority of Horowhenua residents are increasingly finding themselves caught in a ‘tail wagging the dog’ political environment where the economic development board is the tail determining the direction and decisions of council which is the dog and not a very friendly dog at that.

The strategy states an intention to take, “economic development…to the centre of council’s actions” but the economic development board does not have a mandate to do so because it isn’t bound by the Local Government Act, or its legal requirement to consult or be transparent and accountable in its actions and motivations.

WHO ARE THE MAIN PLAYERS?

So who are the main players in this tail wagging the dog political environment? The shadows who prefer to maintain secrecy about decisions they are making as a board to such an extent that council clearly agreed to remove information about them from the council website.
The only public face is economic development board chair Cameron Lewis, a director on the board of local asparagus grower Tendertips. He is often quoted in council press releases extolling “growth” happening in the district despite the fact the majority of “growth” indicators are forecasted, estimated and expected not growth in real or actual terms. But the “growth” rhetoric advances the land development agenda of council which is why it is so convenient.
Second cab off the rank is economic development board deputy chair Wayne Bishop who has multi-million dollar land and property development interests across New Zealand and in Horowhenua.
It appears to be his job to ensure the economic development strategy gains momentum around the council table which he is clearly very effective at doing as his appointment to the role of deputy mayor confirms. He essentially has eight of the ten councillors on-side and troubleshoots for the board when required which he is also very effective at doing.
Although he is in public office he is projected to financially benefit by the cancellation of development contributions by at least $2 million based on estimated figures of $15,000 per new build including $750,000 from the projected 500 house sub-division Speldhurst Country Estate in Kimberley Road alone.
Although those standing for public office are not supposed to financially benefit from political decisions – doing so has a name we are not allowed to publicly state for some reason- yet this behaviour is not only tolerated but condoned.
Also on the board is Levana chief executive Andy Wynne, advertising and digital media executive Antony Young who formerly worked as Asia regional director for Saatchi & Saatchi, Horowhenua district councillor and Horowhenua Learning Centre operations manager Barry Judd, engineering company Stevensons Group managing director Evan Kroll, Ellison Group investment company managing director Larry Ellison of Foxton, Horowhenua councillor Piri-Hira Tukapua and managing director of Turk’s Poultry in Foxton Ron Turk.
While deputy chair of the board and council’s deputy mayor Wayne Bishop appears to be the economic development board’s inside man controlling governance issues council’s chief executive David Clapperton appears to act as the economic development board’s inside man controlling operational and management issues. The fractious and obstructive relationship he has with mayor Feyen who was democratically elected in local body elections in 2016 indicates he remains committed to the task he’s been delegated.
But a political environment where the tail wags the dog makes Horowhenua look more like it is governed by an oligarchy – where the few have taken control of an organisation – rather than a democracy which is why this increasingly out of control juggernaut needs to be challenged at the highest levels.

 



Veronica Harrod
is a qualified journalist with a Master of Communications specialising in traditional and new media content. Investigating and reporting on political, economic and legislative trends that negatively impact on the day to day lives of people is one of her main areas of interest. Lifestyle content she is interested in includes celebrating our own especially the tireless work community advocates do as civil citizens participating in democracy to keep those in power on their toes. In a media age dominated by a multi billion dollar communications and public relations industry paid to manipulate information to protect and advance the interests of the few over the many there have to be journalists who are impervious to the all pervasive influencial role they have over local and central government and corporate interests.

For more information on Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.


RELATED:

The Horowhenua DC’s Economic Development Committee that looks not unlike insider trading

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

Horowhenua Mayor Has Instructed Councilors to Endorse a 100 Page Financial Report They Won’t Get to Read

This is familiar territory when it comes to the Horowhenua District Council. Earlier this year we had other whistle blowers telling us they were told how to vote. And here we have a further example. Would you purchase a house or business without reading ALL the financial & other reports relating to that purchase? Would you run a business (which is what our District Councils are … companies) without fully reading all the financial reports? Well, that is what the recipient of your rates folks is expecting you (your representatives, ie the said councilors) to do! Watch this space especially on October 5th!

Here is Cr Ross Campbell’s latest revelation:

“Yesterday all Councillors were asked to come to a Briefing regarding our “Financial Report” It started at 4.45pm and finished at approx 5 15pm. The Report we were told is, 100 pages long and we would not be given a hardcopy to look at but we were shown a selection of pieces from the report (about 6 pages) on a overhead screen, with a commentary from the Financial Manager.
The reason we would not receive a full copy to analyse was that it was 100+ pages. What is going on? Then the Mayor instructed us by saying that he expected us all to endorse this report at the next Council meeting on the 5th Oct which is the last one before the elections.What is going on here?
I have not seen this Report in its entirety and I am sure as ever not going to endorse it without seeing it in full.We the Councillors are meant to Govern and the Management are meant to provide ALL the Facts and figures surrounding the Finances to us to enable us to vote with confidence one way or the other.
I will keep you all Posted!!!”

Thank you to Cr Ross Campbell for properly representing us the people and for endeavouring to keep those entrusted with the public purse, transparent and honest. Like a democracy should be.

Check out your Council on Dun and Bradstreet Companies register online (or you can find it for yourself at this link here):

 

hdc on dun and bradstreet.png

 

Check out our Local Govt Watch pages (in the menu at top of page); & follow our Horowhenua FB page for further updates. Visit also our Agenda 21/2030 pages for further info on why our Councils are changing … are no longer democratic.

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

How global capitalism actually works

From the Daily Blog … a look at how capitalism works and why the rich are getting richer on the backs of everybody else:

By Douglas Renwick

“There is a standard view of how capitalism is supposed to work given by the media. It goes something like this; capitalism is a system where people come together to freely exchange goods and services, including labour. Businesses compete competitively to give the most efficient outcome, and the profit motive gives incentive for innovation. People who become rich do so because they work hard to offer the market what it wants while the poor do not, so this wealth inequality is to a large extent the natural workings of the market. This is an imperfect but the best possible system.

That is I think the standard view given in the media, and I think most of it can be debunked while the rest can be turned on its head. I’ll be critiquing this view, but also give my own view of how I think Global Capitalism works. I’ll give what I think are realistic and viable solutions to the faults of Global capitalism at the end.

  • Capitalism is always seeking to make profit, and it was able to make profits in the period from 1945-1971 in the productive sector of the economy, and under this system there was high economic growth which was relatively egalitarian
  • the productive sector reached a certain capacity in the 1970’s, increasing productivity became less profitable … profits went into the FIRE economy … finance, insurance, real estate
  • the banking sector became wealthier and got turned into an institution that gambles rather than investing in productive things
  • the economy is now a system that is normally stagnant, and only grows when it is driven by speculative bubbles which eventually crash
  • real wages stagnate, as they have in New Zealand since 1984, while corporate profits go way up ……”

– See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/08/30/sunday-long-read-douglas-renwick-how-global-capitalism-actually-works/?utm_content=buffer9aac1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.9rDI51Jc.dpuf

Another week of neoliberal economics – (and who cares about the poor?) – from the Daily Blog

From the Daily Blog in NZ, a thought provoking look at the world of economics where policy fallout on human populations is of no particular importance. Discussing also the incentives (are there any?) for mothers to leave their babies in day care and take up paid employment. Many are apparently worse off for working full time.

Capitalism is not about free competitive choices among people who are reasonably equal in their buying and selling of economic power, it is about concentrating capital, concentrating economic power in very few hands using that power to trash everyone who gets in their way. (David Korten)


By   /   August 29, 2015
“In the world of economics there are no crises, no gender issues, no growing inequality, no precariat hanging on in a fragile labour market by their toenails. No families ‘choosing’ to be cold and sick so they can pay the rent, no mothers  sent to jail for infringing 19th century rules,  no children spluttering up sputum from 3rd world diseases because our  housing is so bad ,no inconvenient  hungry students with enormous debt ….
mansion-411128_1280Thus it was this week on Monday at the 13th annual economists breakfast  at the Heritage hotel in Auckland…

Economists after economist pontificated on whether interest rates and exchange  rates are going up or down and why and the virtues of quantitative easing that didn’t happen soon enough, apparently, except in the US.  Never a mention of fiscal policy, except the bad effects of increase in GST in Japan…
…of course, there was no mention by the economists of high rates of poverty, , casualisation, low pay and uncertain hours, rampant speculative activity in real estate and growing inequality, even though the IMF and the OECD are regularly warning of the dangers…

When the inevitable downturn produces higher unemployment, more foodbank demand, foreclosures and poor-330395_1280widespread mental illness, who asks or cares whether the economic system works for low and middle income people and their children?”

Kiwi investors don’t realise their deposits are no longer guaranteed

Oct 19, 2014  Bernard Hickey from the NZ Herald writes here on the ‘unseen risks of a fiscal haircut’. Most New Zealanders are not aware of the Open Bank Resolution….

Do you think the money you have in a bank term deposit is Government guaranteed? If so, you’re wrong, but you’re not alone.

A survey for the Financial Markets Authority by Colmar Brunton and published during Money Week found 52 per cent believed the money in a bank term deposit was guaranteed.

To be fair, during the global financial crisis, these deposits were guaranteed, from October 2008 to December 2011. Banks paid for the privilege, but that scheme is over now. So what would happen if a bank fell over? Would the taxpayers of New Zealand make sure you got all your money back?

The simple answer is we don’t know for sure.  READ FULL ARTICLE

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