Tag Archives: assets

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.

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

Those who propose global governance have controlled NZ since the 1960s, hear a Kiwi speak

The late Barry Smith, a Kiwi evangelist and investigative author who was interviewed in the UK in 2000 by Revelation TV. (The video is on our front page). He in fact introduced this subject of privatisation earlier on in the ’90s, having traveled and shared on the topic of a one world government (aka global governance, new world order) since the early 1970s when I personally heard him myself. Bringing his family with him, they towed & lived in a caravan, and would conduct week long crusades in both small towns and cities, sharing the details of the plan. It is a plan which he said the planners believed only one in a million people would ever find out. He would say cheekily that he was that one. Ever grateful for his revelations on this plan which is foretold in Biblical scripture, it has been easier to digest what is happening now in our world. In effect most of what he said is coming to pass. See also our One World Govt / New World Order page.

Note: for the full interview go to this link  for part 1, which will also lead you to Parts 2 & 3.

Important also with regard to this topic are the Agenda 21 / 30 pages found at the main menu. See in particular the Agenda in NZ. At that page you will find a pdf (downloadable) free ebook by Dr Naomi Jacobs who wrote it with particular reference to NZ. She had noticed the debacle going on at Kaipara with the rates hikes there & the battle that has ensued. There is a reason for these exorbitant hikes as NZ councils become more and more indebted. A must read. Especially if you wish to understand what is really going on. See also our Local Govt Watch pages.

EnvirowatchRangitikei