Tag Archives: agenda 21/30

Does Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan walk the talk on community outcomes?

Does Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan walk the talk on community outcomes?

The cheerful exterior of the Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan (LTP) consultation document contrasts markedly with the content inside.

The community is becoming increasingly distressed about council’s intention to impose skyrocketing annual rates increases of between $500 and $700 in urban areas and at least $2000 for rural residential and farms in the next ten to fifteen years to construct new water and waste water systems in five targeted areas.

Which is why it is questionable the council is committed to walking the talk on “community outcomes” included in the LTP which includes a “sense of place”, a “safe and supportive environment” that is “inclusive, connected [and gives the] opportunity to influence local outcomes and decisions.”

Despite new essential infrastructure being planned due to “new growth” council has stated in the LTP reintroducing Development Contributions, that land and property developers used to pay to help fund essential infrastructure costs, won’t be discussed until 2019-2020. Development Contributions were cancelled by council in 2015.

Council’s apparent refusal to reintroduce development contributions is despite an admission by council in the LTP on Horowhenua’s essential infrastructure that, “many of these assets are now reaching, or have already passed, the end of their expected life.”

The LTP states a preference to “progressively pay for more asset renewals from rates and operating surpluses” which raises the question of why council has also signalled an intention in the LTP to increase debt levels by 20 percent to $171 million. What is the increased debt paying for if not one of the most expensive costs of a council: essential infrastructure?

Also there are no operating surpluses as the LTP states, “Council has a history of budget deficits which, in the last LTP, we hoped to turn around by 2018-2019…we are now working to turn this around….by 2021-2022.”

This means ratepayers will be entirely and solely responsible for new asset renewals in the foreseeable future when an extensive number of land and property development projects, included in the council’s draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, are due to be rolled out

From November 2017 to March 2018 urban residents connected to council water systems experienced water restrictions for three months but none of these areas are targeted for significant essential infrastructure improvements over the next twenty years.

The council also does not intend to develop new waste management solutions in Levin either despite being a Lake Accord partner committed to restoring heavily polluted waterways and Lake Horowhenua in an area of cultural and environmental significance.

Council has also indicated a preference to dispose of ALL community halls. In the LTP council makes the comment, “if selling them proves unsuccessful in some cases there may be no other option but to demolish derelict buildings.”

Submissions close on March 26 and hearings and deliberations will be carried out in May before the final 20 year LTP is adopted by council in July.


 

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Where Your Asset Sales Money Went Kiwis

Where did the asset sales money go? The slush fund pretty much according to Winston Peters … not where Bill English said it would go:

“The fund will provide New Zealanders with better public assets, such as modern schools, hospitals, roads, rail and public transport without increasing the debt burden on future generations” Bill English, Finance Minister 2012

Image result for bill english images
Bill English who says he does not want to increase future generations’ debt burden … believe him? (Photo:Wikipedia)

This sounds like a cruel joke in light of current events. Pollution is so rife (thinking the honourable minister’s “future generations” statement) wild food is now so poisoned it’s largely inedible, waters we can only wade in, and hospitals, roads, rail etc have never been worse! I heard recently of a person who lay for literally hours in a cold corridor in one of our hospitals’ A&E (known as ED elsewhere) crying out for the toilet, too sick to get up, who got a round telling off when she soiled the bed! Waits in there currently can be many many hours. Still according to the minister, who doubtless on his salary can afford private insurance, membership fees for the IMF is far more important, to the tune of $23 million*. Remember this image? So why ever would Bill & his colleagues want us to prosper?

imf

*(A fellow blogger tells me the IMF cost is FACTA legislation and should have been paid for by the US government as it is their legislation, read about FACTA at her blog here). 

 

EnvirowatchRangitikei


NewsHub

Proceeds from National’s state asset sell-off is being used to cover all sorts of costs like the TVNZ video archive, membership of an Asian bank and a visitor centre at Government House.

That’s despite Finance Minister Bill English promising in 2011 that all revenue from the sales would be put in a Future Investment Fund to pay for “schools, hospitals, roads, rail and public transport”.

But the latest breakdown of the fund’s expenditure shows just 55 percent of the spending fits that brief.

So what happened to the money?

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

One big ticket item is our membership to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which was funded as part of this year’s Budget and came in at a cost of $144M.

World Bank

Another bank membership has also been paid for out of the fund. In 2014, the fund was used to pay $23 million for a subscription to the World Bank.

Computer programme for ministers

Some of the cash was also splashed on the Prime Minister and Cabinet with investment into a document management project, CABnet, which received $2.6M in 2012 and a further $1.8M in 2014 — a total of $4.4M.

Doing up Government House

In all, $500,000 was also allocated to the Prime Minister and Cabinet to be spent on a new Visitor Centre at Government House in 2012.

Miscellaneous

Modernising the War Pensions Act 1954 and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act was allocated $6M.

Read More:

http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/asset-sales-cash-used-as-govt-slush-fund–peters-2016060713


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EnvirowatchRangitikei