If you want to slide something under the public radar, do it just before Christmas, a time worn tactic. Important info here on meetings being conducted around NZ on TPPA which by my recollection was a no go for the new government/corporation that let’s face it isn’t really new… please share this info from It’s Our FutureEnvirowatchRangitikei
Our Government and MFAT may think that trying to keep Auckland’s meeting under wraps, and only visiting a small amount of cities is transparent consultation, we don’t.
In collaboration with The Daily Blog, It’s Our Future is able to livestream tonight’s Auckland meeting. The meeting starts at 6pm and runs through until 7.30pm. The Daily Blog will be hosting the livestream which you will be able to find here.
Please share the link out through your networks. Our Government and MFAT may think that trying to keep Auckland’s meeting under wraps, and only visiting a small amount of cities is transparent consultation, we don’t. But we think a livestream of the meeting adds a bit more transparency to the process.
1080 poison is a broad-spectrum pesticide spread across New Zealand’s forests and waterways to kill possums and rats, but insects like bees are also falling to this in-discriminant mass-poisoning campaign.
See our 1080 pages at the main menu for further info and links to the Graf Boys’ sites and YT channel plus more info on 1080 use in NZ.
Key says his country is a footnote in the Panama Papers … REMEMBER – Key STARTED in the Banking Industry before he rose to power (& position) to create the “Haven” for the RICH to hide their wealth in SECRET hidden Trusts!
He boasted that he never drew a wage while he was Prime Minister; that he DONATED his pay to charity ….
What’s the odds that his wage went to the “J.Key’s Charity Fund”, one of the many HIDDEN Trusts that all rich people have access to?!
If his wealth was 5 million back in 2008 (when he became Prime Minister), and it was at 55 million when he bailed out of Politics in 2016, and he wasn’t drawing a wage – WHERE THE HELL DID THE DOLLARS COME FROM?!
And he is taking over the reigns to the A.N.Z. Bank next year.
May you receive your “just reward” J.Key; you’ll NEVER be a “Knight” in my eyes ….
While your “thumb’s up”, hitch a ride out of Aotearoa; you’re no Kiwi!
New Zealand is at the heart of a tangled web of shelf companies and trusts that are being used by wealthy individuals to channel funds around the world, according to a report based on leaks of the so-called Panama Papers.
The papers have shone spotlight on how the world’s rich take advantage of offshore tax regimes.
Mossack Fonseca ramped up its interest in using NZ as one of its new jurisdictions in 2013 by actively promoting it as a good place to do business due to its tax-free status, high levels of confidentiality and legal security.
The company’s main contact in NZ was allegedly Robert Thompson, co-founder and director of accountant firm Bentleys New Zealand, the registered office of Mossack Fonseca New Zealand, according to the report.
This investigative article about the Horowhenua district is from journalist Veronica Harrod. Read her bio at the end of the article. She raises points which are puzzling people NZ wide, and lifts the curtain somewhat to let you see what is going on in meetings you are not entitled to attend. (From this site’s perspective, please check out our Agenda 21/2030 in NZ and our Local Govt Watch pages. Also search Agenda 21/2030 in categories to left of page). I read an interesting article at the LG’s website recently about consultation (raised at the end of this article). It certainly does indicate (& in the context of quite a bit of jest, taking the proverbial pee as it were) that the decision’s already been made when you are ‘consulted’. EnvirowatchRangitikei
Massive Rates Rises Predicted in Horowhenua that will Subsidise Land Developers Reaping Potential Profits of over $100 Million
by Veronica Harrod
Horowhenua land developers and investors will reap at least $100 million profit from not having to pay development contributions towards essential infrastructure costs that council seems intent to load onto existing ratepayers who could face massive, crippling rates increases.
The majority of councils in the country charge development contributions because the policy is regarded as the only effective, fair and equitable way to reduce the impact of expensive infrastructure costs on existing ratepayers.
The Horowhenua District Council scrapped development contributions in 2015 but, judging by the extent of land development planned behind closed doors by land developers and council since 2008, it would be unconscionable if council did not re-introduce the levy on land developers.
Exponential rates rises have historically been used by council’s as a sure fire way to free up land for development by confiscating land from ratepayers who can’t afford high rate increases which will directly have an impact on a large number of home and land owners in the district living on fixed or low incomes.
If the council does not include development contributions in the 2018-2038 Long Term Plan (LTP) the profits made by land developers will be unsustainable and grossly unfair to existing residents.
The $100 million profit projections are based on a conservative estimate of $15,000 per new build if development contributions were charged including a minimum of 2100 new house builds in Levin alone totalling $31.5 million contained in a council’s 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan.
Land developer and deputy mayor Wayne Bishop’s 500 house build in Kimberley Road has financially benefited by approximately $750,000. Cr Bishop also has four other land developments which means he has personally financially benefited by at least one million dollars by not having to pay development contributions.
He declared a conflict of interest at the eleventh hour only when a vote was taken by council to stop charging development contributions. During all the debates he sat at the council table which may have affected councillors ability to speak freely against council intention to stop collecting development contributions. It is also only since his election to council that council has proceeded with such a massive scale of land development.
Also included in the profit estimates is the potential affect of relaxing urban housing density rules to allow for sub-division and building of two houses on one house lot which council is deliberating on now. Neighbours would not have to be consulted on increased urban density plans due to changes to the Resource Management Act made by the National led government early this year that favours land developers. Potential profits also include proposed land developments in other parts of the district contained in separate reports available at http://www.horowhenua.govt.nz/…/Plans-Strategies/Horowhenua…
Evidence council is determined to pursue a land growth agenda is also contained in the council report on relaxing urban density rules which negligently and deliberately omitted to include any environmental and cultural costs of land development even though all the new builds would connect to the existing infrastructure, and even though there is evidence of environmental and cultural costs documented in past council reports including the 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan.
Cr Neville Gimblet and council’s chief executive David Clapperton have made comments recently alluding to the scale of land development and the expectation existing ratepayers would pay for them. Mr Clapperton said in a recent newspaper article, “I see some huge opportunities for the Horowhenua that have never been seen before, probably in the last three generations. And I’m adamnant that I want to be part of that journey.”
His comments were made despite consultation on the 20 year Long Term Plan only just starting indicating he is a central, local cog in the wheel of a land development agenda that has captured the council to such an extent democracy itself is being deliberately undermined by the very organisation that is supposed to uphold democratic principles.
Cr Gimblett alluded to the impact of the high cost of replacing essential infrastructure on existing ratepayers in a newspaper column when he said he was “surprised no-one commented on the $2.8 million of unfunded depreciation in the financial report.” Depreciation is a method used to account for future costs of essential infrastructure by acknowledging wear and tear and need for replacement over time.
“While depreciation is not a cash item so has little impact today, it is a key feature of sustainable long term planning and ultimately your rates,” he stated before warning ratepayers that, “Officers and elected members are currently involved in multiple workshops to prepare for the next Long Term Plan, where we will be mindful of this financial constraint hanging over our heads.”
If Cr Gimblet is so “mindful of the financial constraints” then it would stand to reason he supports the reintroduction of development contributions as this levy on land developers would not only immediately solve the problem of funding depreciation costs but also potentially provide enough money to ensure state of the art essential infrastructure designs were built and maintained. Nevertheless he didn’t mention re-introducing development contributions he only mentioned the cost to existing ratepayers.
The democratically elected mayor Michael Feyen has been effectively sidelined because he is viewed as a threat to this cabal of unrestrained and unrestricted land developers and their investors as during the last local body elections he said he was going to make environmental concerns and Lake Horowhenua a priority.
No matter who Mayor Feyen subsequently turned to in seeking redress to reign in the power of an unelected chief executive David Clapperton not one minister of the last National led government would lift a finger to assist him. Local Government New Zealand would not assist him either.
Mr Clapperton also has the support of nine out of ten councillors, excluding Cr Ross Campbell, who are rewarded handsomely for their backing by favourable treatment in appointments to committees and other council led opportunities.
Local National Party MP Nathan Guy has also refused to take action to restore democracy in Horowhenua but, as a recent article in a local newspaper stated, Mr Guy has got the largest property and land portfolio of all acting Government ministers including an extensive amount of Horowhenua rural land, a family home, two rental properties, interests in 13 commercial properties and a Wellington property.
Land developer and investor interest in developing housing subdivisions on at least 550 hectares in the north east of Levin, that extends across Mr Guy’s rural property interests, may also be using their influence with the now acting Government to ensure the highway of national significance is built to the west of Levin instead of the East of Levin. Cr Bishop has certainly stated a preference the new highway be built to the west of Levin.
As if it’s not enough that local Maori and residents of Hokio on the west of Levin have to endure the Levin Sewage Treatment Plant, the landfill, the infamous smelly “pot” behind the landfill and a polluted Lake Horowhenua now moves are afoot to ensure the new highway won’t get in the way of land developers and their investor interest in the East of Levin.
The excessive profit margins land developers and their investors will potentially make helps to explain the increasing interest major land and property developers, that have previously only operated in Auckland and Wellington, now have in Horowhenua.
The first sign the district saw of this burgeoning interest was the purchase of the council owned pensioner housing and 1.1 hectare of bare land by land and property developer Willis Bond in a publicly excluded deal with council for a fire sale price of $5.25 million. Anecdotal evidence is Willis Bond owners the McGuinness brothers count now acting Attorney General Chris Finlayson as a friend.
As Attorney General Mr Finlayson administers the Crown Law office that relentlessly pursues criminal charges against Lake Horowhenua kaitiaki Philip Taueki who continues to give voice to inconvenient truths about Lake Horowhenua ownership and pollution by the council and regional council. Other state agencies have also demonstrated a partisan approach in matters to do with Mr Taueki.
In her recently published e-book “Man of Convictions” Anne Hunt* says Horowhenua District Council waived all fees and granted the consent to decommission the buildings and disconnect the water from Mr Taueki’s residence six days after several men and six or seven police arrived at his place one morning and began sledgehammering and dismantling the building and power to the building. They also attempted to turn his water supply off then too.
When Mr Taueki, “complained to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment about the way the Horowhenua District Council as a building consent authority handled this matter…initially the Ministry expressed concern, but ultimately decided to take no action. The Tenancy Tribunal was equally dismissive.”
Mr Taueki is under constant threat of arrest and imprisonment and, although it is illegal to turn the water supply off to his residence at Lake Horowhenua, the council continues to do so and not one state agency intervenes on his behalf even though he has been left without a water supply for over eight months.
He has been beaten up, shot at, threatened with murder, thrown in jail, forced to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and denied physical access to the very lake he is kaitiaki and one of the owners of by numerous trespass orders.
He is currently facing a retrial of one of the trespass notices he has been acquitted of twice after Crown Law, an office administered by Mr Finlayson, appealed an acquittal of the charge and the appeal was granted by a judge. His case has been delayed until January 2018 because the Crown did not disclose information to defence lawyer Michael Bott when the retrial began last month in Levin District Court.
Allegations of bias by the Courts against Mr Taueki has also been made by Hunt who writes that Mr Finlayson has been responsible for appointing, “all bar one of the six Supreme Court judges, all ten Court of Appeal judges and 75% of the High Court judges….in a process without any statutory constraints or regulations.”
Despite the fact “Man of Convictions” is written by a local resident and respected journalist, author and former Horowhenua district councillor Anne Hunt about the horrendous experiences and treatment of a Lake Horowhenua kaitiaki whose ancestor is the renowned paramount chief of Mua-Upoko neither of the two local newspapers have expressed any interest in interviewing her.
Openly flouting media independence on council reporting the Fairfax owned Horowhenua Mail has now employed council’s former communications officer Kelvin Teixeira which does not bode well for impartial reporting of council communications Mr Teixeira has helped develop and carry out on behalf of the council.
But it is the Crown’s lack of actions to date that disturbingly suggest a collusion with a Horowhenua land development agenda even though it is destined to greatly increase pollution levels to Lake Horowhenua. The Lake Accord, set up to rehabilitate the health of the lake, remains silent about the impact an exponential increase of new builds connected to the existing insufficient and ageing infrastructure will have on Lake Horowhenua.
Hunt says, “Levin’s stormwater system is a major source of phosphorous, and it is this chemical that is the major cause of the cyanobacteria that has plagued the lake in recent years, making it lethal for children. In his 2012 report, Dr Max Gibbs referred to research that 80% of the lake’s phosphorous chemical content comes from the town’s stormwater system.”
“A report prepared for the Horowhenua District Council by Dr Chris Tanner, a principal scientist from NIWA (the Crown Research Institute) commented on the ‘significant
potential health effects from these drain flows,’ without even considering ‘potential toxicity issues with other contaminants such as metals or organics in the discharge from this drain’ she quoted from Dr Tanner’s report.
An apparently deliberate refusal to reintroduce development contributions is essentially undemocratic because it put the interests of the few above the many and makes a mockery of the consultation process of a LTP residents and ratepayers will be bound by for the next twenty years.
Even though council has been having workshop meetings about priorities of the LTP one public consultation held at Te Takere last week had no information at all about the council’s intentions which gives the public little to respond to. There were two councillors, a desk and a lot of free pens but no substance about what council has been discussing in publicly excluded workshops about council’s LTP priorities which makes it a faux consultation on one of the most important issues facing ratepayers today.
Although it might be confusing to understand why the council would refuse to reintroduce the levy on land developers one powerful reason for doing so is it appears the council is prepared to drive out existing residents by imposing unsustainable rates rises in favour of new residents who are regarded as more desirable.
The emphasis on making the district attractive to new residents is highlighted in communications from council on the LTP consultations which promotes the concept of making the district attractive for “those that are moving here” and concerns already exist about the statement by council in a two page newspaper feature, “…all submissions will be considered by elected members and the plan adjusted as they see fit.”
One has to wonder whether the LTP has already been pre-determined if councillors are only going to adjust the LTP “as they see fit.”
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.
WHAT CAN WE DO? The current elected Mayor campaigned on more transparency & more public inclusion. In light of that do your best to attend the HDC meetings in Levin, hear what is happening & get speaking rights to express to Council matters that affect you. The meetings are held 6 weekly and dates are found on the HDC website, FB page or by phoning them.
Jenese and Jim talk about the effect of poisoning Brook Valley and poison industry in NZ. Please share these interviews if possible on facebook, google, email etc. Lets get the word out. Here is te quick link for it: https://m.bvcg.cf/InterviewsP2 BVCG Facebook Group: http://m.bvcg.cf/bvcgfacebook
If, like myself, you’ve pondered at the current vagaries concerning our local District Councils, you need to hear this interview. Penny Bright asks the hard questions and like a dog with a bone, standing up for the marginalized, she won’t be sidelined. She expounds on her discoveries on the local governance front and what’s really been going on behind the scenes, away from public scrutiny. When you’ve listened, take a look at our Agenda 21/2030 in NZ pages on similar topic. See also our Local Govt Watch pages (main menu). They’re all related. All things became corrupted with Rogernomics and the big corporate switch that happened back then. EnvirowatchRangitikei
In this interview anti-privatisation and anti-corruption whistle-blower, Penny Bright, talks on issues around the three Cs – Corruption, Contractocracy, and Corporate Welfare, as well as issues around the private procurement model for public services.
Penny says the root cause of most corruption is privatisation. She asks why the Public Records Act is not being fully implemented and enforced in New Zealand.
If New Zealand is truly ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ – shouldn’t we arguably be the most transparent?
She says public transport is not public, and asks what the implications are of a fuel tax.
Penny has been involved in opposing the Tamaki ‘Regeneration’ project and speaks about dubious government and private dealings there.
She talks on the murdered Maltese investigative journalist who exposed the Panama Papers and has found some disturbing New Zealand connections.
Penny also speaks on State Capture, where private interests significantly influence the government’s decision-making processes to their own advantage.”
INTERNATIONAL RULE OF LAW FORUM
Penny Bright, was invited as a NZ ‘Rule of Law’ expert, together with nearly 300 attendees from 75 countries to the 2017 World Justice Project International Rule of Law Forum at The Hague. There she informed the delegates that New Zealand is a “Corrupt, polluted tax haven.
She says, “My political ‘bombshell’ was about NZ’s corruption REALITY, and
in my opinion, New Zealand is a ‘corrupt, polluted tax haven – a banana republic without the bananas’.
It is very clear we need better accounting of numbers with this poisoning programme.
As this letter by Ron Eddy in yesterday’s Otago Daily Times points out, in 2014 at the start of it’s ‘Battle for the Birds’ programme, the Dept of Conservation claimed there were only 1000 to 2000 Kea left in the wild.
To summarize the info in this letter:
DoC recently announce they have “no breed to release programme operating to help increase our declining Kea population”
DoC further announces on 28 Oct 2017 that “there are ongoing threats to wild Kea” (Bird of the Year)
DoC’s info reveals that “between 2008 and 2014 the government, DoC and Ospri aerial 1080 operations had poisoned 24 out of 199 monitored Kea”
We can never know of course how many unmonitored Kea died of 1080 poisoning in the operations (and why aren’t they testing as previously noted with Kiwi deaths to prove that 1080 is actually doing what it purports to?)
DoC info supporting the start of the Battle for the Birds programme in 2014 “claimed there were 1,000 to 2,000 Kea left in the wild
Even though the department acknowledges that the Kea population is still declining it is now claiming there are 5000 to 7000 Kea left in the wild!
The Panama Papers: ANZ Bank was the leading Australian bank in the world of offshore accounts; Samoan diplomat was used to help create shell companies – Samoa’s high commission in Australia couriered papers
A link to the above article is below Penny Bright’s summary here:
NZ WHISTLE-BLOWER ALERT!
25 October 2017
Can the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) please carry out an urgent investigation of former NZ Prime Minister John Key and the Panama Papers?
It was murdered Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who exposed, via the Panama Papers how NZ foreign trusts were used as money-laundering vehicles by Maltese Politically Exposed Persons.
“A Malta magistrate is investigating explosive claims of money laundering and corruption that have put New Zealand in the middle of a global cash trail from the family of Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev.
President Aliyev’s daughter, Leyla Aliyeva, is alleged to have channelled more than NZ$1.6 million to senior figures of the Malta government, including Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s wife.
These include alleged payments to Panama companies owned by New Zealand trusts set up by the Malta Energy Minister Karl Mizzi and Muscat’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri.
On April 20, Maltese blogger Daphne Caruana-Galizia reported that she held copies of documents originally stored in a kitchen at Pilatus Bank, which showed that Egrant Inc, a mystery Panama Papers company identified by the Financial Review last year, was secretly owned by the Maltese Prime Minister’s wife, Michelle Muscat.
In March 2016, a Dubai company controlled by Leyla Aliyeva had transferred US$1.017 million (NZ$1.47 million) marked as a loan into Egrant’s account at Pilatus Bank, Caruana-Galizia reported.
Joseph Muscat denied the claims, calling it the “biggest political lie in Malta’s history”.
Caruana-Galizia reported that other payments were made from Leyla Aliyeva’s company to Pilatus accounts held by Egrant as well as Tillgate Inc and Hearnville Inc, two Panama companies that are owned by Schembri and Mizzi, through New Zealand trusts.
Schembri and Mizzi vehemently deny Caruana-Galizia’s reports. Mizzi has produced audited accounts for his New Zealand trust which shows it as dormant with no assets or income.
The latest revelations, if substantiated, are an embarrassment for the New Zealand government, which announced an inquiry into its offshore trust laws on April 11 last year, the day after the Financial Review revealed details of how Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca’s Malta agent, BT Nexia, began setting up Tillson, Hearnville and Egrant five days after Muscat’s election victory in 2013.
Mossack Fonseca’s files were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
New Zealand subsequently amended its offshore trusts regime, requiring foreign trusts to file annual accounts with the New Zealand tax office, but with no further restrictions.
At that time, it appeared the Malta trusts had never been used, after Mizzi and Schembri’s Panama companies were turned down by eight banks who refused to open accounts for them because they were Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).
The Panama Papers, however, show repeated cases of overseas investors filing false or implausible sets of accounts with New Zealand lawyers, who have limited means to verify the figures.
The latest wave of allegations in Malta underline how easily the New Zealand disclosure laws can be avoided, which the new laws do not change.
If the reports are substantiated, they raise a far more serious picture of money-laundering from one of the most corrupt countries in the world, in which New Zealand’s foreign trusts played a significant role.
The saga began in February 2016 when Caruana-Galizia revealed that Schembri and Mizzi had set up two Panama companies, Tillgate Inc and Hearnville Inc, owned by the Haast Trust and Rotorua Trust in New Zealand.
In April 2016, the Financial Review published new details of Schembri and Mizzi’s New Zealand trusts and their attempts to open a bank account in Dubai.
Two days after Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered by this car bomb, it was announced that former NZ Prime Minister John Key would become Chair of the Board of the ANZ bank.
The Mossack Fonseca files show the critical importance that banks hold in the offshore world – and ANZ is the most visible of the Australian banks in the offshore space.
ANZ appears in 7548 of the Mossack documents, reflecting the bank’s extensive work in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Jersey.
On 1 August 2017, at a meeting attended by 200 people at Rutherford House, Victoria University, Wellington New Zealand, the (former) Chair of Transparency International, Jose Ugaz stated that John Key should be investigated over the Panama Papers.
I attended this meeting and heard Jose Ugaz say this myself, as did the other 200 people in the room.
There appears to have been NO NZ mainstream media coverage of this story.
Can the ICIJ please carry out an investigation of former NZ Prime Minister John Key and the Panama Papers?
Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.
Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference.
Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.
Attendee: 2014 G20 Anti-Corruption Conference.
Attendee: 2015 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference.
Attendee: 2017 Transparency International Australia Anti-Corruption Conference.
Attendee: 2017 World Justice Project International Rule of Law Forum – The Hague.