These videos are from the Mayor of Horowhenua, Michael Feyen. This is a ‘people’s Mayor’ who, like his former deputy Cr Ross Campbell, seems as much at home digging a haangi or drying dishes as he is wearing his mayoral chains. Just into his first term as Mayor however he had most of the councilors go public with a statement saying they supported not him but the CEO. For background to this situation read this article. His selected Deputy Mayor was unseated just hours into his term for speaking on social media about what looked like insider trading (and that hasn’t gone away, see Ross Campbell’s recent updates). This is all not surprising in light of the fact that these two have blown the whistle on quite a lot of things they saw as ‘not right’ in the course of their work in Council. Council pollution was another issue they highlighted. And so come this campaign the Mayor has had next to no coverage by media. Stone walled & neutered as he puts it himself, he has had a difficult uphill battle with a council that seems more intent on the business of property development than the interests both he & his former deputy would have liked to focus on. A keen supporter of retaining the Horowhenua community housing for instance, Mayor Feyen was removed from the housing committee because he had a conflict of interest! (ie he wanted to retain the housing … he had seen among other things opportunities for employment therein for the young people of the town, the same as his aspirations to pursue trapping of pests in lieu of the use of 1080 poison and of investing in the hemp growing industry). The list goes on, not a list shared largely by his colleagues. The housing sold for a song incidentally, to a property developer who then partnered with an established housing provider with promises to maintain the then status quo, however the contract ends in 2029 or thereabouts & just 18 months in they rents have already been raised.
“Effective growth is a partnership between council, central government and private enterprise….away from the unsettling glare of public commentary…” explains one HDC councilor regarding all of the public excluded meetings by which the assets are being sold. (See this article also). Developers are also exempt from paying development contributions to Council. And nowhere else in the country besides Horowhenua does a District Council have a CE and a Deputy Mayor who are both registered property developers.
Listen further to the Mayor’s latest update, expanding further on LG in NZ:
A highlighted issue with this election has been the difficulty involved in voting (see Veronica Harrod’s info). This was the same last election when many folk did not receive their voting papers and the voting info office was frequently either unmanned or closed. Curious isn’t it?
So amidst the LG so called ‘sustainable’ councils up and down our clean green land (not) we have a raft of property developers busy with their public private partnerships selling up all of the public assets for a song. Then there has been the ongoing escalating debts of Councils. That has been an issue in the Horowhenua as well … it’s ‘good debt’ we’re frequently told. Currently, right on election time, the Horowhenua CE is away on holiday and has been for several weeks. This is the CE who was intercepting the emails of his staff for ‘safety reasons’ it was touted. Who paid a secret payment to a local iwi without the Mayor’s knowledge. Mayor Feyen is himself a staunch supporter of true partnership with Tangata Whenua & honouring the principles of the Treaty. Currently the Council’s real commitment appears to be mainly lipservice.
Sadly this has happened many a time in NZ and is part of the new corporate scene… certain segments of society no longer matter. The elderly are one of those segments. A society where people are valued on their financial contribution only … where only profits matter … is one that is in severe decline in my opinion. I’ve seen this scenario elsewhere where a gentleman who had gone to hospital in an emergency & had to leave his flat unlocked … the housing management were not too interested. This just wasn’t the norm two and three decades ago. How sad for these elderly folk who died alone when people were genuinely worried for them. EWR
From the NZ Herald
An elderly man lay dead in his council-owned flat for four days before he was discovered.
It is the second case of a resident at a Haumaru Housing-run village dying and not being found for several days.
Iain Halliday, 88, was found dead at Birkdale Court, on Auckland’s North Shore, in late June.
His death came just two days after the body of Bryan McGinty was found at Leabank Court in Manurewa. McGinty had been dead for five days.
In both cases the men had been unwell and concerned neighbours had asked Haumaru Housing staff to check on them. And in both cases the residents said they felt their concerns had been ignored.
A NZ Herald article tells us we have 34,500 homes being built for folk in Pukekohe & Drury over the next 30 years. From what I am seeing it looks like typical Agenda 21/30 pack and stack housing, packing you into the A21 Smart Cities (see also the NZ page). To learn more about those watch the video below where in the US the plan is a bit further along. In it you will see that some will be ready wired to the smart grid. (A brief update at 1/6/20 I was told recently of a new house, part of new state house rebuilds … where the house will not function apart from wifi … in the event of a power outage the tenant will not be able to exit their garage). With 5G (further video at link) this all makes sense. These corporates have deprived New Zealanders of a great proportion of our once state-owned asset, State housing, bulldozing them still as we speak. Key sold off some 21% of our state housing I heard recently, see the article on the land banking that went on in Tamaki and elsewhere under his watch. And so with the real estate under them gone for a song to the property developers via their public private partnerships (listen to Joan Veon at the link, see this NZ link also), the homeless, victims of our manufactured housing crisis are currently sleeping in cars, garages, sheds you name it, while the current NZ corporation parading as a government prepares for you the compact city living apartments that superficially may look great but be aware they have a different agenda in mind. Watch the video of one of NZ’s developers who was all but gifted the Horowhenua pensioner housing with property thrown in courtesy of the local council. He was speaking in a NZ Herald interview on one of his high rise housing developments on Auckland’s waterfront. In it he speaks about garages under the apartments. The apartments are safe he said because they have 24/7 surveillance, his words, and when questioned about car spaces he replied ‘people are not ready yet to be car less’ so garages are included at this stage. All looks pretty benign but be aware they envision you will be on bicycles and out of cars (notice all the cycle ways … they’re not really about your health folks). They of course will remain in their cars, same as they remain in their private jets to attend those scam climate conventions or their G7 summits in top class locations. They only pay lip service to the great ideas they are foisting upon you, it is you who won’t be.
READ THE HERALD ARTICLE below about Drury & Pukekohe plans
NOTE the images below and the similarities of NZ’s plan (drawing) to photos of those being built in the US & elsewhere. The Agenda 21 plan is to eventually eliminate private property. And particularly the single family homes. So in the videos you will see single family homes with these huge complexes right adjacent and towering over them. The plan for these apartment blocks is that they will become state owned. Socialist state in plain sight if you study it carefully. (Watch the videos, read the info. There is a series of basic info at this link ).
Header Photo: Auckland Council
Other photos: screen shots from the videos featured
Horowhenua District Council lost $1.86 million on the sale of the pensioner housing and 1.1 hectare of bare land to land and property dealer Willis Bond according to a recently released Audit NZ report. The loss on the sale contradicts statements made by council’s chief executive David Clapperton in an April 5, 2017 Community Connections newsletter that, “There are..important criteria, including a realistic price offer.” A council Community Housing Transfer document also stated the aim was to “receive a fair market value on sale.”
The Audit NZ report for the Year ending 30 June 2017, presented to the February 18 Finance, Audit and Risk committee, noted “some of” Audit NZ’s “recommendations from last year’s reports to the council had been addressed, but there were still improvements required.”
The council was criticised on a number of fronts including presenting an incomplete set of draft accounts in “some areas” and “delays during the audit in receiving follow-up information especially in relation to [council owned land and property] revaluations and some service performance measure support” which impacted on “the timeliness and completion of audit work.”
Other concerns include a lack of controls over council’s expenditure system. “Although management has developed a report that may assist to mitigate the risks of unauthorised expenditure, without the one-up review there is still the risk of fraud and inefficiencies.”
“Recommendations have been made [by Audit NZ] in previous years to enhance the purchase order controls in the expenditure system to specifically require purchase orders to be approved on a one up basis. This would decrease the risk to the district council by providing a mechanism to prevent inappropriate expenditure being incurred.”
The Audit NZ report stated that previously manager’s were required to independently review or approve a purchase order but, “there is now no requirement for manager approval over the subsequent invoice.”
According to an updated council Delegations Register Mr Clapperton is authorised to spend up to $1 million on specified contracts for services.
In a ‘Review of Sensitive Expenditure Internal Audit’ 9 August 2017 report financial audit, tax, and advisory company KPMG said an alternative approach to the “one-up review” was required for the chief executive and the Mayor because “there is no more senior person.”
KPMG recommended, “the customer and community services group manager approve the chief executive’s sensitive expenditure and the chief executive approve the mayor’s sensitive spending and the mayor approve the customer and community service group manager’s sensitive spending.”
Although KPMG and Audit NZ have both expressed concerns about control over council spending the council told Audit NZ, “both last year and again this year, that there is no intention to following a one-up approval approach in the electronic purchase order system.”
“It is Council’s view that sufficient controls currently exist in the procurement process and the implementation of one up approval for purchase orders would neither be operationally efficient nor significantly lessen the risk.”
On conflict of interest matters the Audit NZ report stated, “more detail still needs to be included for handling of issues, breaches and their mitigations…for such areas as secondary employment.”
Audit NZ also found, “not all assets in the land and buildings asset class were revalued and there were assets that were revalued by the valuer that the District Council no longer owned.”
Audit NZ also found that, “Adjustments to the valuation information were difficult to follow and increased the audit time involved in reviewing the valuation work” and that, “The valuations assumed that useful lives of infrastructure assets had remained the same and no review was done against asset condition.”
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 about Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.
The recent Local Government elections saw Horowhenua District Council with a new Mayor, former Cr Michael Feyen who selected new Deputy Mayor, Ross Campbell. Perhaps indicative of HDC’s current stance, the powhiri and swearing in was only briefly featured on HDC’s web pages, clearly not ecstatic about the voters’ choice. And the announcement to roll the new deputy came two days ago when Mayor Feyen stated on his FB page he’d received an email stating that …
“all … Councilors have decided now they do not want Cr Ross Campbell as the Deputy Mayor…”
Horowhenua’s new Mayor Michael Feyen speaks about the cool reception he’s been given as new Mayor & describes how no justification has been offered for rolling his Deputy (apologies for video quality).
This all comes as no surprise given the turbulent history we’ve seen with this Council. Both councilors were ostracized historically for their insistence on truth and openness in Council dealings. Mayor Feyen, when a councilor, regularly posted videos on line exposing the pollution of Horowhenua and Manawatu waterways by both Council’s and local industry’s shoddy practices, saying HDC was a “top drawer polluter”. (See that video here plus his filming of Landcorp’s negligent practices).
Cr Campbell was vilified for filming the discharge of raw sewage into Shannon’s waterways, earlier this year (all denied by Council), and was physically assaulted in 2004 in relation to similar activity.
His accomplice in his most recent capturing of evidence this year, was also physically assaulted and kicked, making headline news. For more info on those somewhat intriguing and surreal events go here. Basically, according to former Councilor Mrs Anne Hunt, the HDC has a culture of bullying Crs into denying Council’s role in polluting the waterways, that aside from telling its councilors how to vote. (See here also).
There are other issues these two have made known they are not happy about, like the relatively new council building that has large cracks in the basement. (CE Clapperton and the HDC establishment insist this is safe citing two prior reports done at the cost of some $135K). Mayor Feyen has ordered another independent inspection that he’s stated he is willing to resource himself if necessary. Then there’s the issue that HDC was instrumental in the decision to issue a third liquor license that Shannon locals did not want. More to come on that one. And the issue that HDC appear to not be consulting the public as thoroughly as they claim, witness the recent moving-of-the-Foxton cenotaph issue and the sale of the community housing stock. Finally, on the building cracks, HDC announced following the recent major quake on 13th November that there are no additional cracks … contrary to Mayor Feyen’s mention in his video update early on the morning after the quake that there were now more cracks. Perhaps quite aptly, as Alice in Wonderland would say, it’s all getting ‘curiouser and curiouser’. The new building was only opened in 2007, and it has large cracks in the basement … is this the new norm?
Note: this council, like many in NZ now, pay mere lip service to the nice sounding ‘sustainable development’ rhetoric that their websites are replete with, reflecting the UN’s forward thinking plan Agenda 21 which is not all that it seems. Under its watch NZ’s rivers have become 60 percent unswimmable. Sustainable? Perhaps for corporate pockets but not for the environment. From the time councils were corporatised ie following Rogernomics in the late 1980s, they have masqueraded as democracies where in fact they are running on a business model (all registered at Dun and Bradstreet’s website). Right now, although the Mayor was voted in by the people, nevertheless the council appears to have him effectively hamstrung. At their first Council meeting following the election, the proposal to open the council’s books, and to not sell the community housing stock, were … as per usual … voted against by all except the Mayor and his new Deputy.
HDC has $100 Million Debt
As noted, Mayor Michael Feyen asked for Council’s books to be opened.(Read minutes at this link – opening-the-books-Horowhenua- DC November-2016) Both he and Cr Campbell have been long time critics of the level of debt the Council is in (in spite of a supposedly well qualified CE who is paid the handsome salary of $250K + for his services). Indicative of the apparent power he holds perhaps? (By comparison the Mayor is paid only $99K). Pre corporate take over we had a town clerk who was only moderately rewarded and he kept the council out of debt.
Prior to the election HDC’s regime was vehemently denying the level of debt the Council was in (said by them to be $68 million not $100 million). They’ve argued on a pinhead over that level which somewhat detracts from the real issue here. Why is $68 million or even $1 million debt acceptable? Whatever happened to the time-tested strategy of not spending what you don’t have, as Cr Campbell is pointing out in his video here? We all know that the borrower is servant to the lender. Back in 2014 when he tried to highlight the fiscal mismanagement of Council, he was told by the Mayor at the time that his question was “not liked” and he “wouldn’t be spoken to again!” A curious response.
Cr Ross Campbell recently describing one of his many attempts at reigning in the borrowing by HDC into exorbitant debt … this one was in 2014
So, here we have a responsible Cr trying repeatedly (wasn’t his first time) to steer the Council in more prudent directions, being told to pretty much ‘sit down and shut up’. And the Council has currently voted to not open the books. One would have to ask, are they hiding something? Perhaps it is the alleged ‘insider trading’ that Cr Campbell refers to in this video …
Cr Campbell speaks out about the former Mayor’s Economic Development Committee … one he called an ‘Economic Advantage Committee’, being comprised of non-elected members. Read the full transcript at this link.
Our Mayor … some of you might not know this … our mayor has formed a group of his closest business associates. They’re the people who he mixes with. And together with these associates there are developers, there are retailers, there are manufacturers, contractors, who have been selected by him. They’ve formed themselves into what we call an Economic Development Committee. That’s what the Council calls it but I actually call it an Economic Advantage Committee … over their competitors … Cr Ross Campbell
Clearly this non-elected group has quite a lot to lose from hereon in with such environmentally friendly leadership in charge. No small wonder Cr Campbell is being rolled.
So, what do these two democratically elected, yet supposedly ‘renegade’ representatives of Horowhenua voters want for our district? … ah …
Clean drinking water
A clean Lake Horowhenua (chronically polluted by previous Councils to the extent it could now kill a small child if ingested)
a commuter train service from Levin to Wellington
the retention of Horowhenua’s affordable community housing for the elderly
clean recreational waterways
true partnership with iwi
the closure of the leachate leaking Levin Landfill
a stop to pollution of our waterways
opening of the Council books … honesty & transparency
more public participation at Council
Mayor Feyen remains hopeful and positive … in his own words he concludes:
” I’m very very positive and I know I’ve been voted in to make change, to look at fixing the water, to look at fixing Lake Horowhenua, to look at removing the dump, to looking at our books, to having governance lead this area, so this is commuter trains … everything I got voted in for … I’m definitely looking for public support… that’s what you voted for and I’ll continue working for those things while I’m here as the Mayor. It would most definitely be easier with my current Deputy Mayor so I’ll just see what life serves me up … just keeping you informed like I promised we would do”.
Please do share this information. Like our new leaders we also want honesty and transparency. We want our Council to support the leadership chosen by the voters and move our district forward in true sustainable development … and not the kind that merely fattens corporate purses. We voted for change.
There will be a protest against the selling of the community housing, and the
rolling of the new Deputy Mayor Cr Ross Campbell … outside the HDC building at 126 Oxford Street in Levin on Wednesday 7th December! A peaceful protest … but one that will send a clear message that those who voted for our current Mayor are not happy with what is happening. Please come and bring a placard if you can.
You will find updates or changes at the Facebook page, at the Nua on our own FB pages and our petition page here (see menu).