Tag Archives: Campbell

What mainstream isn’t telling you about Horowhenua DC …”We were dumped off committees, access keys taken, derogatory remarks constantly thrown at us …”

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A large crowd of protesters gathered outside Horowhenua DC’s building to protest at the ousting of the new Deputy Mayor Ross Campbell


If you attended the protest outside the Horowhenua District Council building on Wednesday 7 Dec (2016) and particularly if you stayed and listened to the events at the Council’s meeting, then you will have heard the new Mayor’s speech. You would also have heard the revelations presented by former Councilor Mrs Anne Hunt. Mainstream media have mentioned neither. 

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If you weren’t there you will only have heard mainstream’s take by now. Herald’s provided the damning conclusions & comments from a Massey University expert on the mechanics of Local Government. They have already cast the new Mayor as a ‘lame duck mayor’, ‘dead in the water’ through his supposedly poor and inexperienced choices, that is, exercising his democratic right using the ‘dumb ass’ LG law to select a Deputy without consulting  the other nine Councilors who don’t support him anyway. They’d already made that clear early in the piece by announcing they were rolling his Deputy, no explanation offered. There was even pre-election mention in social media by a relative of one councilor of the likely outcome if the now current Mayor got elected. He’d be a “Nigel no mates” it was said, if half the Council weren’t also replaced by councilors of like mind. Already a foregone conclusion? This is not a simple personality clash as media would have you believe.

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Former Cr Mrs Anne Hunt revealed how she was similarly treated in her nine years as a councilor

Mayor Feyen has acknowledged the law is an ass, and former Cr of nine years, Mrs Anne Hunt pointed out in her speech just how it was made that way. The Local Govt Act gave Mayors the option of choosing their own Deputy when Len Brown in Auckland became Mayor. It was never intended for all Councils. And it clearly doesn’t work.

Since mainstream is not going to highlight it for you, here is Mayor Feyen’s speech anyway. It followed a glowing report on the Economic Development Committee, (that looks not unlike insider trading) and was interrupted by Cr Judd  just as he was about to reveal how he and Cr Campbell had been treated for the past three years. Cr Judd had to be told three times to sit down and be quiet. You can head to the DC’s Facebook page and listen to it all for yourself. The Mayor’s speech is in Part 1. Below is the transcript.

Mayor Feyen speaks:

This is a difficult situation and I believe it’s been brought about,  and you would understand how this has all come about if you had actually been Cr Feyen or Cr Campbell, where everything that you describe, talking about corruption, that everything many have described …

… we simply weren’t accorded any democratic rights in the last three years. We had our access keys taken from us, we were dumped off committees with no explanation, people saw us constantly having derogatory comments  thrown at us by the past mayor, we were always interrupted when we asked questions, when we asked questions in writing we seldom got an answer.

copy-of-protest-7-dec-2016-029We had to ask the questions  in council & that’s what people saw. There was no true democracy leading up to these elections & that is something that I want to bring back into this council where people if they ask for speaking rights they get them. That’s why we’re getting people in here, that’s why people are coming back into council, because they’re seeing that there’s a chance for community to actually participate. It’s been a really difficult road, we’ve got Cr Judd who has come back on the scene, & we have two new Crs.

It’s a paradigm shift that the two Crs that asked all the questions, the public want us in & now here we sit as mayor and DM because they want a change, they’re actually sick and tired  of the half truths that are published in the paper.

copy-of-protest-7-dec-2016-030With the pressure that’s put on the media, .. that’s gone, there is no pressure on the media now  & now we’re getting letters to the editor in the paper where we’re actually getting the full story out there. As a new mayor, I knew it was going to be difficult, the minute I saw the results because I’ve had to put up with three years of being … point of order (Cr Judd interrupts) … no there’s no point of order I’m going to carry on speaking …. can you please take a seat and let me finish Cr Judd … I’m asking you to stay seated … thank you, thank you … I AM speaking to the matter in front of me , it’s quite interesting that every single Cr brought up the past in relating their story to Cr Campbell & I am bringing people into the context of what this is all about … (unclear from the recording at this point) … would give me the time of day during my time in council , that’s the truth of it.

This is crucial background information for understanding why the Mayor has made the choices he has. He was effectively hamstrung. And yet, again, mainstream has made no mention of it whatsoever. Curious isn’t it?

Add to this the revelations made by Mrs Anne Hunt. During her terms of nine years she endured similar to that described by Mayor Feyen and Cr Campbell … basically she too was kept out of the loop.  Mrs Hunt explains in her speech she was given information indicating ‘they’ would “make her life hell” should she become the Mayor in the 2010 election. She goes on to explain that this was not just about Michael Feyen or Ross Campbell.

“… this was not just about Michael Feyen or Ross Campbell … what has happened she said, would happen to anybody who unseated Mayor Duffy…”

She described how for nine years as a councilor she’d been under pressure to sing from the same song sheet. Read at the link of a Code of Conduct incident obtained under the Official Information Act describing Mayor Duffy’s alleged intimidating behavior. You can listen to Mrs Hunt’s speech on the HDC website also, it too is in Part 1.

(Unfortunately this recording has now gone you may find it by searching HDC’s site or asking for the archives there).

So, it’s a little rich that we have Cr Wanden and other Crs in their speeches stressing openness, communication, respect and trust. What astounds me most is that all the councilors who would have observed the bullying behavior described that went on for three years (and beyond) said or did nothing to stop it. We can’t conclude they didn’t know, otherwise jaws should have dropped when the truth was told right there that Wednesday. Jaws didn’t drop however, it’s business as usual, and mainstream is saying nothing, zip, zilch. 

And finally, aside from all of that, neither has there been any mention of opening the books. Or why the same nine who voted the Deputy Mayor out promptly voted against opening the books, first meeting after the installation of Mayor Feyen. You really have to wonder why. If it is all so squeaky clean they should be proud to show us the books. 

All that debt, $68 million! With a CE on a $250K salary. Doesn’t make sense does it? 

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Foxton drinking water

On a very bright note however, since the elections Foxton now has two outlets to fill containers with filtered water. The former Mayor insisted the water was fine … it is not and hasn’t been for as long as some folks who live there can remember. We will soon however have a largely unwanted street do up worth $1.5 million. Flash streets are more important than healthy water it would seem. 

Do read our Local Government Watch pages at the menu, and note these goings on are by no means confined to the Horowhenua. Your country Kiwis is not what it used to be. If you watch the video of the gentleman whom Rodney Council took to the cleaners, he relates how an ex Scotland Yard official now in NZ has described your country as one of the most corrupt in the world. Thing is, Kiwis are so trusting and blind they’ve convinced themselves it is one of the least corrupt. For more light reading check out Mainstream Media on how your reading material is carefully filtered.

Note: Cr Campbell declined to reply to the criticism against him. By visiting our Local Government Watch pages (Horowhenua) you can learn more about his historical querying of excessive Council debt, his genuine concerns regarding the Economic Development Committee and his efforts at exposing the pollution of his ward’s waterways by negligent Council practices.

ALSO RELATED:
The illusion of democracy: Horowhenua District Council is rolling its new Deputy Mayor and won’t be opening the books … what’s to hide?

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

 

In spite of their spin the Horowhenua District Council is not enabling “democratic local decision making”… they’ve just issued a liquor license that Shannon locals didn’t want!

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Cr Ross Campbell conducted a street poll regarding a proposed liquor license … the results were not in favour of the license however the DC went ahead and issued one anyway! How’s that for listening to your people?

For those who don’t know Shannon, it is a small town on State Highway 57 between Palmerston North and Levin in the lower North Island. Recently it featured in the news media following the filming by Horowhenua District Councillor Ross Campbell, of HDC’s pollution of the local waterways. You can read about these events that saw Cr Campbell trespassed, at this link. 

More recently, Cr Campbell conducted a street poll to air the proposal by Council of issuing another liquor license in the town.  Shannon already has two off license outlets and five licensed outlets, and the public voted an overwhelming 309 to 3 against. Now that is a clear message from constituents to at the very least hold off, and at most to conduct a proper survey of the town.

But no, the HDC Licensing Chair-person Councilor Ross Brannigan and Committee and obviously the Police thought otherwise and granted yet another license!

Disappointed with this outcome, Cr Campbell, who has fought hard for this community, commented that he thought the Police would have been more supportive of locals’ wishes especially with this issue.

Now, I’ve noticed for some time now, as have many others, that DCs seem to not really be listening to what their constituents say. The official spin if you like on their websites tends to sound very democratic but in practice, in reality, as can be seen from all of the above, they are everything but democratic. A former Cr, Mrs Anne Hunt, recently went public and divulged the persuasive measures that HDC take with their own, coercing them to deny the facts about certain issues. Something is clearly not right with local government in NZ, the HDC being no exception. Here for instance, to illustrate, is some of their spin, quoted from HDC’s own website (our emphases):


Council’s Functions, Responsibilities and Activities

The purpose of the Horowhenua District Council is to enable democratic local decision making to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well being of the Horowhenua District in the present and for the future.   

In meeting its purpose, the Horowhenua District Council has a variety of roles:

  • Facilitating solutions to local needs
  • Advocacy on behalf of the local community with central government,  other local authorities and other agencies
  • Management of local infrastructure including network infrastructure (eg roading, water supply, waste disposal, libraries, parks and recreational facilities)
  • Environmental management planning for the current and future needs of the local district.

So there is a discrepancy right there in the first paragraph:

…to enable democratic local decision making to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well being of the Horowhenua District

In this instance, clearly demonstrated by Cr Campbell, they are not enabling democratic local decision making. Locals commenting on social media clearly reflected that they neither needed nor wanted more liquor outlets so HDC is neither consulting nor listening to locals and … facilitating solutions to local needs. (Their own words).

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Shannon already has two off license liquor outlets and five licensed … the public voted overwhelmingly against a new license [photo credit: nzhistory.net.nz]
So who needs more liquor outlets? … no prizes for guessing that one … the liquor companies of course.

So the question that needs to be asked here is …  why is a supposedly responsible DC favoring the wishes of the liquor industry, over the people who voted them in?

Hopefully the locals will be phoning those who made this decision on their behalf .. (in particular Cr Ross Brannigan in case you missed it) to ask them “why”?  Why are they contradicting their own policy statements?

We need to be speaking up about these matters  … our silence is interpreted as consent.

The contact details for all councilors and others who are serving you the rate payers, can be found on the respective Council websites. And remember, elections are coming up soon … be sure to vote, and vote for those who are genuinely for changing the current status quo.

In addition, consider registering your opposition to the way these decisions are made by filling in a form at the Citizens Government Corruption Watchdog Commission. This is easy to do, and the site is a NZ one. 

HDC contact details can be found HERE at this link.

Shannon will be entering the “Keep NZ Beautiful”competition this spring. Good luck to them!

 

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 

 

“Toe the line and deny any pollution by the HDC” was the clear message given by Mayor Brendan Duffy to Horowhenua District Councillors – a former HD Councillor speaks out

” … during my time on council … I was placed under pressure to toe the line and deny there was a [pollution] problem”  Former HDC Councillor Anne Hunt

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Former Horowhenua District Councillor Anne Hunt, who is backing the claims made by both Councillors Campbell and Feyen (see links at bottom of page) regarding the HDC’s role in pollution of Horowhenua’s waterways,  has revealed that on two occasions they as Councillors were given a clear message by Mayor Brendan Duffy that they were to “toe the line and deny pollution by the Council”. The first of those occasions concerning a 2008 visit by Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman is addressed here, the second which relates to the pollution of Shannon’s waterways, will be covered in another post.

Mrs Hunt has previously stated on Maori Television in a documentary about the pollution of Lake Horowhenua that HDC is its “worst polluter” and she still stands by this statement (see video at 3.56 minutes).

Dr Russel Norman’s Visit in 2008

Mrs Hunt described an occasion in 2008 when Dr Russel Norman came to Levin to speak with HDC’s Mayor, CEO and representatives about the pollution of Lake Horowhenua by Levin’s nearby waste water treatment plant. At a Council workshop on the day prior, they were told, said Mrs Hunt, that TV3 was coming up to interview the CEO David Ward. Cr Leigh McMeeken suggested they should all stand around him as a show of support. She  describes the workshop:

“We were all sitting around the council table, and Brendan [Mayor Duffy] asked each councillor individually to speak to this and voice their support [of the CEO’s stance]… finally coming around to glare at me. I felt most uncomfortable and managed to mumble a non-committal answer. But the message was clear that I was not to step out of line. The Mayor and every other councillor supported the staff position on this, and agreed that Dr Norman was simply political point scoring”.

Put simply, Mrs Hunt says they knew they were to deny that their Council was polluting the lake.

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Dr Russel Norman standing by Lake Horowhenua on his visit to HDC in 2008 – he correctly concludes the lake was contaminated with E.coli [Photo Credit: Green Party]
During his visit Dr Norman was given the opportunity to fly over the lake and take photographs. It was not until a couple of months later that he was proven right by Horizons official tests  (3 Oct 08 Manawatu Standard) about the sewage pollution when samples showed high levels of E coli, confirming faecal contamination.

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Aerial photograph by Dr Norman showed groundwater from earthworks at the plant was pouring into the lake and creating a plume of dirtier lake water

Dr Norman’s Conclusions on the Sewage Contamination

Dr Norman concluded there was absolutely no doubt sewage was seeping into the lake and said it was turning out to be one of NZ’s worst sewage disasters in years. Official tests found high levels of E.coli between council sewage ponds and Lake Horowhenua. He commented that the HDC had a history of resource consent breaches including a then recent court appearance regarding Shannon’s sewage ponds. Mayor Brendan Duffy and CEO David Ward he said, have constantly downplayed risks, with Mayor Duffy calling any critics of his waste disposal practices ‘ill-informed’. The council had given priority he said to  a $10.4 mill council building over proper waste treatment.

The new Council building … “an edifice to stupidity” – Cr Michael Feyen

The Sewage Pollution of Lake Horowhenua was FACT

This has been an abbreviated revision of Dr Norman’s conclusions. Fuller coverage  will be the subject of a later post. It serves here in its brevity to illustrate that in spite of HDC denials, the pollution of Lake Horowhenua by sewage was factual, as official tests later proved. And the point of this post being to endorse the actions of Mr Andrews (the 70 year old Shannon environmentalist who was recently assaulted at his home by intruders) and Crs Ross Campbell and Michael Feyen,  in endeavouring to film what appears to be deliberate pollution by the HDC,  bringing it to the notice of the public. A public that elected these representatives to manage their public resources, prudently and not negligently.

Particularly, it exposes, thanks to Mrs Hunt, the clearly unethical tactics employed by the HDC in coercing its Councillors to think and ‘vote’ a certain way.

You have a situation here where your Councillors that you vote for on election day, the people whom you are expecting to represent your views when important decisions are made at your local District Council … they are actually being told how to vote … and that is according to the directive of the CEO.

Is this democratic?

Clearly not.

What  we have here it seems, is an illusion of democracy. Behind those closed doors Councillors are not permitted to represent you … their hands are tied. Clearly there have been three Councillors here who were willing to speak the truth … at great cost to themselves. For that I applaud them.

“When we tolerate what we know to be wrong–when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened–when we fail to speak up and speak out–we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice”. – Robert Francis Kennedy

Finally, bear in mind that your local District Councils are registered on Dun and Bradstreet’s website as companies. (Check this out for yourself). A company is:

“… any formal business entity for profit which may be a corporation, a partnership, association or individual proprietorship…” SOURCE

So we need to be asking ourselves, to whom do our Councils (that are really companies) owe their allegiance? To you the ratepayer/citizen? Or to corporate/company interests, given they exist ‘for profit’? Does this not explain a few anomalies? 

On a final note, these courageous Councillors who have put their heads above the parapet and spoken truth deserve our thanks. Do consider emailing them in that regard, or leave a comment here. And the same goes for the local residents, in particular Mr Andrews, who have also stood up and been counted.

 

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

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RELATED:

Exposing the pollution of your waterways may well incur a violent backlash as two Horowhenua residents found out – the ongoing lip service councils pay to Iwi, the RMA & ‘sustainable development’

Horowhenua District Council’s pollution whistleblower has been served a trespass warrant – so what’s to hide?

“HDC is a top drawer polluter” says another Horowhenua District Councillor who filmed similar pollution to Shannon’s 14 months ago – he says HDC’s recent take was “misleading & full of half-truths”

“The whole thrust of one workshop was aimed at undermining the credibility of WECA members” … More revelations from a former Councillor on Horowhenua DC’s “long-standing & insidious” tactics

 

SOURCES FOR ARTICLE:

3 Oct 08 Manawatu Standard-Lake Horowhenua Contamination from Sewage Confirmed 

Sad Time for Lake Horowhenua – Green Party Press Release 2 Sept 08

Sewage Ponds Overflow at Lake Horowhenua Green Party Press Release 21 Aug 08 – Russel Norman gets offside with local Council 26 Aug 08