Category Archives: public private partnerships

The public have seen little accountability from the Horowhenua NZ Trust formed last year

From Veronica Harrod

Last month Horowhenua deputy mayor Wayne Bishop’s land and property development company was sold 2.7 hectares next to land earmarked for transfer to the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust.

On 2 November Wayne Bishop Investment Ltd purchased half a hectare of a former industrial site at 56-62 Cambridge Street South for $480,000 and 2.7 hectares of land behind it for $360,000. It is the first time the 2.7 hectare block has been sold.

The 2.7 hectare of land now owned by Cr Bishop’s company is directly beside 7.6 hectares of public land owned by Horowhenua District Council at 72 Cambridge Street South earmarked for sale in Council’s November 2015 Property Strategy.

Last year Council voted to establish what it referred to as an “economic development trust” called the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust (HNZT) and transfer up to 40 percent of public assets to the trust as “seed capital” which includes the 72 Cambridge Street South site.

The Cambridge Street acquisitions are in close proximity to three other land purchases by Cr Bishop’s land and property development company in Hinemoa and Liverpool Street totalling almost 12 hectares of prime real estate.

Almost one hectare in Hinemoa Street has a rateable value of just $165,000 but a Capital Value of $1.2 million.

The valuation of Cr Bishop’s Speldhurst development, being built in stages on the 48 hectare former Kimberley Hospital site, increased by 430 percent in 2016 from $3.8 million to $20.3 million. The site is still listed as “leasehold land” on Quotable Values database, “meaning someone else has a freehold interest in the property.”

Cr Bishop was deputy chair of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and six former board members are now all trustees of the HNZT.

Since six members of the EDB were named as trustees Council has removed all references to the EDB from its website although there has been no formal announcement the board has been dis-established.

On 18 October 2018, five months after HNZT was registered, a financial services company called The Horowhenua Company was established naming all but one trustee of HNZT as shareholders.

Former EDB chair and trustee of HNZT Cameron Lewis is a director and a shareholder of The Horowhenua Company.

The other shareholders include former EDB members and trustees of HNZT Antony Young, Evan Kroll, Larry Ellison and Ron Turk.

The majority of councillors voted in support of Council’s chief executive officer David Clapperton assisting the trust but voted against Mayor Michael Feyen being involved.

The author further comments:

The public have not been provided with any information since the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust was registered on 31 May. Has land already been sold or transferred to the trust? Council’s chief executive David Clapperton has made conflicting statements. He initially said the public would be consulted. But then he released information that stated the public did not have to be consulted on the sale of $28 million property because it was “non-core” property; not significant or “core” property. Has 72 Cambridge Street South already been transferred to the trust? What other property has been transferred? A Stuff article of 28 June [five months ago] states “the first group of properties are expected to be transferred in the next few months.” The public were assured the trust structure included accountability however the public have seen little of that. Instead it appears the public know little to nothing that is apparently being done on the community’s behalf as a charitable trust.

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Horowhenua DC does not deem it necessary to consult the public on the sale of Levin’s Focal Point Cinema

From Veronica Harrod

Focal Point Cinema to be sold to Horowhenua New Zealand Trust?

Horowhenua residents were told they would be consulted before public assets were sold or transferred to Horowhenua New Zealand Trust but that now looks unlikely.

The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust (HNZT) – a charitable trust – will take over responsibility for economic development from the Economic Development Board and plans to be involved in a number of projects including land and property development of public assets transferred or sold to the Trust as seed capital.

On 8 November last year chief executive David Clapperton said in a Council press release, “We will soon consult with the community about what property Council should retain. We also need to make sure the community understands that managing this property could include selling it if that is in the best interests of the community.”

Now he says, “The sale or assignment of property assets will not be…requiring community consultation unless the asset in question is deemed a strategic asset, involves an activity that will significantly affect capacity or cost to Council, or is a change to the Long Term Plan.”

“An asset, such as Focal Point Cinema, would not be deemed significant and would therefore not be consulted on should there be a proposal to sell or assign this building,” he said.

However, Council’s significance and engagement policy also states, “Matters…may have a high degree of significance where it is known that the decision will nevertheless generate a high degree of controversy. Council will make judgements on the level of support for those views when determining the significance of a decision.”

Furthermore no consultation will be required for the sale or transfer of 14 public assets in Levin and surrounding area, Foxton, Foxton Beach, Shannon and Depot House on Hokio Beach Road because Council voted to sell them in 2009 at a 5 August Council meeting.

Council’s property strategy states Council assets include 550 properties with a total rateable value, including land and buildings, of approximately $101 million as at 2014 including $28 million of non-core properties.

The strategy also states, “It is also important to understand that a classification of non-core does not automatically mean that the relevant property/facility should or can be disposed of as a range of other factors come into play.”

Non-core property includes commercial buildings and land, endowment property, forestry, motor camps, rental houses, rural leases and a “subdivision” category.

Under the Local Government Act if, “an asset has been unlawfully sold or otherwise disposed of by the local authority; or a liability has been unlawfully incurred by the local authority” the Auditor General may make recommendations to recover the loss or prevent further losses.

Government will not save you from corporations-a Public Private Partnership so advanced the public interest is no longer a primary concern

Published on Jul 3, 2013

Journalists and political partisans have expressed the mistaken presumption that government is a “balancing force” against the excess powers of corporations. This video explains that most excess power of corporations is provided and granted by government and that government seeks partnership with corporations and shares in the profits. This “public-private partnership” is so advanced that the public interest is no longer a primary concern of government. Government is now a for-profit operation serving itself at the expense of the public interest.

The Foxton Memorial Hall is set to be sold by the Horowhenua Council – locals are not happy

As is the growing case in many places now, Councils are selling off via public private partnerships, the public assets of their communities. Folk are not too happy about this one. Cr Campbell from Shannon is in the throes of trying to retain their memorial hall also, see his comments below to this topic:

“I think a Local Peoples Trust to manage the Foxton Hall could well solve the issue as they would be able to apply for grants to remedy the problems which I believe total about $270 000 approximately.
I have been busy securing our hall (Shannon) from sale but I do believe a partition seeking a stay on the sale of this important Building is worth the effort.
I can assure you both the Mayor and myself do not want this Hall sold or transferred to the “Horowhenua Trust” for sale.

If Foxton folk wish to retain theirs they will need to band together & utilize a similar plan.

The sale of your public assets by council … “away from the glare of public commentary”

THIS TELLS THE WHOLE STORY. The Master Plan was the brainchild of the council’s economic development board according to a timeline in the Master Plan document. Former mayor Brendan Duffy and Mr Clapperton confirmed support for the Master Plan one day after the concept was presented to them by the board, and “In a councillor column in a community newspaper last year Councillor Neville Gimblett said the medical centre land deal…

“….reinforced that effective growth is a partnership between council, central government and private enterprise….away from the unsettling glare of public commentary..” …. Cr Gimblett, HDC

AWAY FROM THE GLARE OF PUBLIC COMMENTARY? … REALLY?


New medical centre for Levin first project of Horowhenua NZ Trust

One of the first projects the recently established Horowhenua New Zealand Trust hopes to project lead is a new medical centre on public land Horowhenua District Council sold to BOHR Property Ltd late last year.

Council’s chief executive David Clapperton and council’s economic development manager Shanon Grainger have both publicly stated the medical centre project will be led by the Horowhenua NZ Trust.

At the FCB meeting on 18 September 2017 Mr Clapperton said “the new purpose-built medical centre” was a Master Plan project which he described as, “the product of years of collective effort” …before going on to say, “it can be anticipated that further large scale projects like the medical centre will flow into our district.”

In his council report on supporting the establishment of the Horowhenua NZ Trust Mr Grainger said the Trust’s role up to July 2018 is to roll out Project Lift including, “a series of modern process-designed projects” which are part of the, “Master Plan: Quality Care and Lifestyle for Older People.”

Six former Horowhenua District Council economic development board members have now been named as trustees in a recently filed Trust Deed including Cameron Lewis, Antony Young, Andrew Wynn, Ron Turk, Evan Kroll and Larry Ellison.

Concerns have been raised by residents about whether the community will benefit from an extensive number of land and property development, construction and infrastructure projects the charitable trust intends to initiate throughout the district.

The public were excluded from participating in the council sale of the now demolished 100 year old historic Jack Allen House in Durham Street, Levin to BOHR Property Ltd for a new medical centre.

Due to the secrecy around the sale of the Jack Allen House there is concern about how transparent council will be about an intention to transfer up to 40 percent of public assets to the Trust as “seed” funding.

In a councillor column in a community newspaper last year Councillor Neville Gimblett said the medical centre land deal, “reinforced that effective growth is a partnership between council, central government and private enterprise….away from the unsettling glare of public commentary.”

According to Companies Office information Levin Chartered Accountant Hamid & McHutchon Ltd of Queen Street holds 116 of a total of 120 shares “on behalf” of other un-named shareholders of BOHR Property Ltd and Hamid & McHutchon Ltd is not the “ultimate holding company.”

The two directors of BOHR Property Ltd including Bente Ongkiehong and Johannes Roberti own two shares each worth 1.67 percent.

The Master Plan was the brainchild of the council’s economic development board according to a timeline in the Master Plan document. Former mayor Brendan Duffy and Mr Clapperton confirmed support for the Master Plan one day after the concept was presented to them by the board.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1806/S00287/new-levin-medical-centre-first-horowhenua-nz-trust-project.htm

© Scoop Media

 

HDC is about to give millions in council assets to a new trust … to promote the economy we’re told

Last year we posted news that HDC were considering public private partnerships to dispose of council assets. They seem to think we all came down in the last shower. Here we have a CE saying “but it was not yet known how profits would be spent or invested… ” Seriously …  this is the person who we just heard paid local iwi secretly as per quote from Kapiti Independent News:

“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”.

…& we’ve heard nary a whisper of that since it leaked out!… who also all but gifted $1.86 million of council assets (aka pensioner flats) to Willis & Bond property developers. (The auditor General’s fine with that we heard recently so I imagine it’s all go with the current giveaways as well). May as well say haere ra to this lot friends. The millions of dollars of assets I’m talking about, not the generous people who are giving them away. As we speak the community/memorial halls are up for grabs in Foxton & elsewhere. This looks distinctly like a land grab as eloquently described by the late Joan Veon who observed developments in the UN plans for so called ‘sustainable’ development that is clearly everything but sustainable … Public Private Partnerships ‘an arm of the world’s growing corporatocracy, the bottom line is to take control of the assets of government (links below). At the Agenda 21/30 pages (main menu, top of page) you can read NZer Dr Naomi Jacobs’ ebook on topic inspired by the rates hikes & property losses in Mangawhai.

Here is Stuff’s article:

Millions of dollars of council assets will be transferred into independent hands to help boost the Horowhenua economy.

The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust could be operating in the next month, chairman Cam Lewis said. It will own and manage property and assets given to it by the Horowhenua District Council, and promote the district as a place to do business.

The trust would benefit residents by increasing jobs in the district, but it was not yet known how profits would be spent or invested, he said.

Council staff said property to be transferred would only include “non-core properties”. The council owns almost $28 million in non-core property and more than $100m in assets.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/104864000/millions-in-council-assets-to-be-given-to-new-trust-to-promote-economy

LINKS TO OUR PREVIOUS ARTICLES:

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/so-horowhenuas-community-housing-did-indeed-sell-for-a-song/

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2017/05/29/why-did-a-property-developer-register-a-company-called-compassion-horowhenua-a-week-before-horowhenuas-community-housing-sold/

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/horowhenua-council-considers-selling-off-large-amounts-of-council-property-by-way-of-public-private-partnerships/

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

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/public-private-partnerships-are-an-arm-of-the-worlds-growing-corporatocracy-their-bottom-line-is-to-take-control-of-the-assets-of-government-joan-veon/

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/challenging-the-privatisation-and-divestment-of-public-land-assets-forced-upon-communities-against-their-will-re-takapuna-a-high-court-judicial-review-scheduled-for-august-on-8-grounds-re-the/

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/the-horowhenua-dcs-economic-development-committee-that-looks-not-unlike-insider-trading/

To look at the wider picture, as per Joan Veon’s video if you watched it, see our Agenda 21/30 pages (NZ in particular) at the main menu. This is a global trend with global governance in mind.

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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Public remain in the dark about plans by Horowhenua District Council to transfer up to 40 percent of public assets to the yet to be legally registered property trust called Horowhenua NZ Trust

More excellent investigative reporting from Veronica Harrod

Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it superman? No, it’s a giant wrecking ball and its coming near you soon.

The public remain in the dark about plans by Horowhenua District Council to transfer up to 40 percent of public assets to the recently established property investment trust called Horowhenua NZ Trust.

The only item on the 6 June agenda to be discussed in a publicly excluded part of the meeting refers to “Legal Matters: Settlement Options – Historic Dispute” which, if this refers to the transfer of public assets, appears to be deliberately worded to hide council’s intention.

Council will discuss and vote on this item in a publicly excluded part of the meeting on the grounds, “The withholding of the information is necessary to enable the local authority to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations (including commercial and industrial negotiations).”

One of the big problems residents have is how the commercial confidential clauses of the Local Government Act deny the public opportunities to be a part of discussions in the public interest. Also, the public don’t know how councillors vote on publicly excluded matters or whether councillors have undeclared conflicts of interest.

It is the only clause of the Local Government Act available to council’s, who may be motivated by self and vested interest rather than public interest, because it allows council’s to side-step obligations to be transparent and accountable.

But when council’s get into bed with land and property developers to the extent this council has then serious concerns about how the commercial confidentiality clause of the Local Government Act is being used are justified.

The most glaring example of this was the sale of the former council owned pensioner housing portfolio to one of the biggest land and property developers in the country Willis Bond for a firesale price of $5.2 million resulting in a loss of $1.86 million.

The Office of the Auditor General is making a determination on this matter and conflicts of interest but, to put it mildly, residents aren’t holding their breathe that an investigation of any real merit will be pursued.

In a report on supporting the establishment of the Horowhenua NZ Trust economic development manager Shanon Grainger stated, “The Trust operates through a Trust Deed in standard fashion. That Deed holds trustees to account, trustees operate under the standard legislation and case law applying to trustees. This is a high level of accountability with sanctions and remedies.”

But the public don’t know how the Trust will operate because the Trust has not been legally registered, there is no Trust deed to refer to and who the specific directors are still has not been announced.

Mr Grainger also said the Trust model was, “explicitly detached from local government so that local government politicians are not compromised, and investors are not compromised.”

Yet members of council’s in-house economic development board are Trust directors in the first instance and three councillors are on the board including deputy chair of the economic development board councillor Wayne Bishop who is also the deputy mayor.

Compounding concerns is the fact Cr Bishop has three land and property development companies, and an extensive and growing number of Horowhenua land and property development projects, and the Trust is being assisted by the council’s chief executive David Clapperton who established a company classified under the land development/subdivision category in November 2016.

These facts alone appear to contradict Mr Grainger’s comment the Trust is “explicitly detached from local government.”

Not only has the council publicly stated it intends on transferring up to 40 percent of assets to the Trust but an unknown amount of ratepayer funds that council spends on “economic development” will also be funnelled to the Trust.

The only public comment made about how much council spends on “economic development” was a vague statement made by Mr Clapperton the dollar amount was unknown because it is within the Representation and Community Leadership budget of $4.1 million annually!

Plans by the council and the yet-to-be legally registered Horowhenua NZ Trust move relentlessly forward even though the public are being consulted on a myriad of plans and strategies that, if adopted in their present form, will unleash an explosive number of land and development, demolition and construction projects across the district.

Clearly though this trend of council’s getting into bed with land and property developers is undergoing a 21st Century renaissance. Listen to what is happening at New Plymouth District Council: “The council wants to sell part of Peringa Reserve – including half of a public golf course – to housing developers for $35 million. Opponents say it is protected recreational space and should be kept. RNZ Taranaki reporter Robin Martin has more.

The New Plymouth district council has come under fire for describing a proposal to sell part of a coastal reserve as “land recycling”. The council wants to sell part of…
RADIONZ.CO.NZ
 
Note: As the additional link on New Plymouth shows, councils up & down the land are using the tried & true method of relieving you of your public assets your forbears worked to provide for succeeding generations. Public Private Partnerships. Listen to Joan Veon on that topic (see our Agenda 21/30 pages). Buying your assets for a song literally via the back door. This link  will take you to related examples of this in NZ including Joan Veon’s information. Let’s not forget these transfer of assets seem to be happening with no rhyme or reason as to their value, witness the transfer of Horowhenua’s pensioner flats to Willis & Bond property developers with front company Compassion Housing formed a week before the sale, at a loss of $1.86 million (ie sold that much below their true value, a right royal gift for W&B. Enjoy (if you can). EnvirowatchRangitikei

Private investors to make a killing From Auckland Transport Projects

A must watch on this topic is Joan Veon’s ‘Public Private Partnerships’:
PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS ARE AN ARM OF THE WORLD’S GROWING CORPORATOCRACY & THEIR BOTTOM LINE IS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE ASSETS OF GOVERNMENT … JOAN VEON


 

From democrats.org.nz

Labour buddies Phil Twyford and Phil Goff have unleashed a stampede of financial pariahs who will be jostling for a share of the profits from financing the $28 billion in Auckland transport projects they jointly announced on Thursday.

Despite having promised before the election to stop the Public Private Partnership schemes of the previous National government, this latest announcement goes even further down the road of privatising new assets.

The new transport projects will be financed by combination of PPPs and Crown Investment Partners, a government owned PPP scheme in disguise, “which is all about introducing outside capital and attract[ing] co-investment from the private or other sectors”.

Labour used to be the party for the workers but it has just proved it really has turned into a party that shovels taxpayer money into the pockets of the rich, the overseas banks, and the international money shufflers. 

Their big profits will be coming straight out of taxpayer’s pockets, who will effectively rent the new transport facilities, having to pay for the construction of the projects and a premium for the lender’s profits.

READ MORE

https://www.democrats.org.nz/News/NewsItem/tabid/119/ArticleId/5667/Private-investors-to-make-a-killing-From-Auckland-Transport-Projects.aspx

HDC’s master plan revealed … they’re about to sell off more of Horowhenua’s assets

A benign sounding partnership/Trust is to be formed to sell more of Horowhenua’s assets, outlined here in another of Veronica Harrod’s  excellent articles. If you watch a video I featured a few months back at the time the sales were first announced, you’ll see what ‘Public Private Partnerships’ are really about. Joan Veon (in the video) studied governmental changes world wide during the ’90s when she worked with the UN. She attended a conference hosted by Al Gore proposing changes to government in which the tax payer citizens were referred to as ‘customers’. She traveled internationally & later lectured on these topics. She sheds a whole lot of light on the smoke and mirrors going on in local councils right now that have their origins in plans made more than two decades ago. The plan is rolling out in plain sight if you care to look below the surface rhetoric. The smoke & mirrors apply particularly with regard to the sale of assets. The video is a short watch (13 mins) and well worth the time.  Note also, when I added Joan Veon’s video in the Facebook comments below Veronica’s original posting of her article, it was immediately removed by Facebook as spam. Now doesn’t that tell you something? If you’re really interested get hold of Joan’s book called The Sustainable Prince (she mentions it at the end of the video) in which she explains the public private partnerships plus the ‘sustainable’ scam. (Witness our now trashed waterways under the ‘sustainable development’ lie). And finally, of course the new Government will support this. I will be very surprised if they don’t.   EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

Horowhenua District Council’s Master Plan revealed

By Veronica Harrod

The most damning evidence to date that Horowhenua residents live in ‘tail wags the dog’ political environment is the district council’s proposed sponsorship of a “Charitable Community Trust” dedicated to rolling out a Master Plan initiated by the economic development board.

The 49 page “HDC-Project-Lift-Master-Plan-FINAL” contains a time line which states, “On 12 April, 2016 Horowhenua Economic Development Board introduced [the Master Plan] concept and on 13 April 2016 [former] Mayor Brendan Duffy and chief executive David Clapperton [held a] discussion on the role of Horowhenua District Council and related ownership, leadership, and governance of the project.”

Full support pledged from the council includes providing $259,400 of funding and in-kind support such as “lending venues for labs and gifting people’s time and expertise” but up to $500,000 was being sought from central Government.

So, how do the aims and objectives of the Master Plan tie in with council’s intention to sponsor the establishment of a Charitable Community Trust and what is it the proposed Trust intends to do?

According to a report titled, “Community Trust for Horowhenua: Supporting Information for the Council Strategy Committee” presented on 8 November 2017 by economic development manager Shanon Grainger the Trust would own,”in part or wholly, or in any other arrangement, a series of limited liability investment companies (or activities) [that would] operate on standard commercial terms governed by a commercial board of directors using a mix of private equity, bank-sourced debt and possibly Council assets or equity.”

External Opportunities listed include, “ensuring that local businesses and community initiatives benefit from the Otaki to North of Levin Expressway project” and, “local projects such as the Levin Town Centre, the provision of better water infrastructure and resources, the freeing up of land for residential, commercial and industrial construction.”

The council report says the first priority of the Trust “up to July 2018” is to roll out the next phase of the Master Plan. This includes obtaining, “Central Government approval of the proposals set out in the Master Plan; recruitment of appropriate experts…and contract a provider to deliver the [Master Plan].”

The Master Plan specialises in what is referred to as, “solutions for older people…through the development of fit-for-purpose products, services and environments – for example…planning opportunities like Levin/Taitoko’s spatial plan and housing redevelopment [and] shopping precincts that are easy to get around.”

“We will develop business cases to attract funding and investment [for] solutions requiring significant public and private investment…We anticipate the balance of public to private investment.”

Whether the new Government will support the Master Plan concept is unknown at this stage, but the political uncertainty presents a potential liability which has not been considered.

Although the Master Plan refers to older people in Horowhenua as “stakeholders” older people and organisations representing older people, including Greypower Horowhenua, were excluded from involvement in a deal that saw council sell land last year for the development of a new medical centre in Levin.

In a newspaper column councillor Neville Gimblett referred to the deal between council, the former Government and private enterprise as, “an example of the growth coming to Levin as private enterprise gains the confidence to make major investment in our community…away from the unsettling glare of public commentary.”

At a FCB meeting on 18 September 2017 council’s chief executive David Clapperton said one project of the Master Plan,”is the establishment of a new purpose-built medical centre,which will bring a number of key services and specialists to Levin and Horowhenua. As Horowhenua’s economy continues to expand, it can be anticipated that further large scale projects like the medical centre will flow into our district.

Seed funding would be provided to the proposed Trust through the sale of up to 40 percent of publicly owned assets by council but regarded as surplus to requirements.

Mr Clapperton said in a council press release published on 8 November last year, “we’ve acquired property for a variety of reasons…Some of it is useful to our community and some of it not so much.”

A key initiative of council’s economic development strategy 2014-2017 developed under Mr Duffy’s reign as mayor also includes rationalisation of council owned properties but refers to the intention to rationalise property as “an aligned Property Assets Strategy.”

Mr Grainger spoke more plainly in his report to council when he stated, “Over the years HDC has acquired a large portfolio of property for a variety of reasons – some helpful; some less so. The result is that, at present, HDC has approximately 40% more property than is required…In addition, a variety of property is leased or rented on a sub-optimal basis and thus represents a risky and inefficient investment.”

He went on to outline the “advantages” of the trust entering a joint arrangement with the council to develop a “disposal programme” of council owned property deemed excess to requirements. Mr Clapperton also spoke of council’s intention to “dispose” of public assets through a sale to the “Trust” at the December 11, 2017 Foxton Community Board meeting when he stated it was, “council’s intention to dispose of a number of properties which have been identified as non-core, with the goal of the portfolio being core only by 2028.”

The disposal of council property regarded as surplus would be, “executed using expertise retained by the Trust through (i) Transfer to the Trust at agreed rates; and/or (ii) Sold into the open market by value maximising means (auction, private treaty, etc).”

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.

You can find more of Veronica’s articles by entering her name in the search box.

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