Tag Archives: consultation

NINE IWI REPS APPROVED THE RECENT LUGGATE AERIAL 1080 DROP – BUT NONE APPEAR TO LIVE IN LUGGATE, & YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE

NINE IWI REPS APPROVE LUGGATE AERIAL 1080 DROP – BUT NONE APPEAR TO LIVE IN LUGGATE, AND WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE EITHER !!!

(Related articles on the Luggate 1080 drop)

OSPRI’S planning process is supposed to include stakeholder meetings (isn’t that the affected community?) and consultation with landowners, Iwi, and government agencies.

Well the community at Luggate, less than 1 km from the imminent Alice Burn East aerial 1080 drop zone, did not get a meeting. However we are told nine Iwi representatives have been consulted (really ?!) but we are not allowed to know who they are or where they live.What a very strange state of affairs !

See correspondence between Luggate resident, and member of the Luggate 1080 Action Group, Tracey Morrow, and Sam Anderson-Mangai, Senior Health Protection Officer, Public Health Service / Public Health South, Southern DHB. (He signs of the aerial 1080 drop.)

Here is the correspondence:

A LUGGATE

B LUGGATE

C LUGGATE

D LUGGATE

E LUGGATE

Dishonouring their promise to consult, OSPRI are thumbing their noses at Luggate residents’ concerns over dust drift from an imminent aerial 1080 poison drop

Remember, this is a Class 1A Ecotoxin with no research studies done on 1080’s impact on the unborn, and this dust is known to drift with the wind. The late Dr Scanlon raised concerns about these risks. The drop in question is near the Luggate community & an ag-61797802_2371956503084662_3183807064082219008_n.jpgpilot of 6,000 hrs flight time has just sounded a warning regarding the dangers of the current winds influencing that drift onto the small township. This is not rocket science and yet OSPRI who promised to consult, have failed to do so. Remember also what Dr Charles Baycroft said about 1080 poisoning? If you are poisoned nobody will know because the MOH are bullying Doctors NOT TO TEST FOR 1080! Please visit our page, Suspected 1080 Poisoning Cases for further information on that topic. EWR


OSPRI REFUSE TO CONSULT WITH LUGGATE COMMUNITY OVER AERIAL 1080 DROP

By Carol Sawyer

As a result of the public meeting the Luggate 1080 Action Group held in the Luggate Hotel, 21 May, 2019, a letter was sent by Cherilyn Walthew ( on behalf of the Group ) to OSPRI’s Programme Manager, Eric Chagnon, asking for OSPRI’s attendance at a public meeting to fulfil their obligations with regard to community consultation, and containing a list of questions generated from the wider community at that community meeting at the Luggate Hotel,( see attachments) That original letter is at bottom.

Here is the response received today from ???? ( Team OSPRI), and Cherilyn Walthgew’s reply to that, also today:

From: Community Relations Southern South Island <CR_SSI@ospri.co.nz>
Sent: Thursday, June 6, 2019 8:13 AM
Subject: RE: Urgent. Outstanding questions regarding the proposed Luggate 1080 drop, 2019

Dear Cherilyn,

Thankyou for the invitation, however, OSPRI considers that all statutory obligations for the operation concerned have been met.

Your questions will be responded to as soon as possible within the required timeframe.

Yours sincerely,

The team at OSPRI

OSPRI New Zealand Limited

Level 1, 399 Moray Place, PO Box 5745, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058

P 03 477 9829 | ospri.co.nz

*******************************
Cherilyn Walthew responds:

Dear “Team at OSPRI”,

It is interesting that in refusing our invitation to come and meet the community for consultation to answer the pre-identified questions we have already sent you, you have now morphed from Eric Chagnon to a “faceless identity”.

The community of Luggate does not consider that you have met your statutory obligations around “public consultation” and given you assured them this would happen, it is not unreasonable to request that you uphold this commitment. Especially as this drop is to occur in what could be considered a highly populated “remote and inaccessible” area.

We are aware that in most circumstances, the residents of “remote and inaccessible” areas generally don’t “speak” however, in this case, the residents include quite a large number of people who reside in an area that has a 1km boundary from the poison operation.

These same people have raised serious health concerns with you, ranging from dust drift from the toxic class 1a ecotoxin monosodium fluoroacetate (1080) to E.coli contamination of water tributaries, that run through the village, as a result of rotting carcasses.

I feel that I really need to point out the obvious here, you have not met your obligations for public consultation as you committed to do so in 2017 for any future operation. Given your past history of nearly poisoning people outright, this is a shameful stance.

Pregnant women and those with health concerns have no wish to be guinea pigs in your experiments with this toxic poison. In the name of human decency, were you at least planning to publicly inform people when this drop is commencing so that pregnant women and mothers will have an opportunity to protect both existing and unborn children?

I will now be petitioning all relevant parties who have issued consents, for them to suspend the consents until these serious concerns can be responded to, and consulted on, in conjunction with the community.

I have included the question file for those parties who are cc’d in on this email and may not have seen these at this time.

This is very disappointing behaviour from your organisation and troubling from one that is looking for community support, yet fails to engage in any meaningful or genuine manner.

In the meantime, we will look to progress a public meeting without you.

Yours sincerely

Cherilyn Walthew

******************************************

On Fri, May 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM Cherilyn Walthew wrote:

Dear Eric,

It is with alarm that I read of OSPRI’s intentions, in the Wanaka Sun, to start dropping poison around the settlement of Luggate as of the 1st June, 2019.

To date, OSPRI have not fronted for genuine consultation with the Public as was promised back in 2017 by one of your predecessors.

There are still a number of questions that the community would like you to answer prior to the commencement of your poisoning operation and given that you and your Organization appear reluctant to come and discuss this, we would like to take this opportunity, on the 1 year anniversary of your organization walking out of the last promised community consultation, to invite you to a genuine consultation event.

We are aware that your staff have made claims of being “ambushed” in the past with our questions and there have been other claims that you were concerned for the health and safety of your staff. These are very destressing claims and I can assure you there is absolutely no threat to your staff from our community however, we will also look to invite a number of other people to attend the consultation meeting including MPs, local councilors, DoC representatives, Police etc. to ensure that you feel fully comfortable in your environment.

In addition, we are including a copy of the questions that have been raised by the community in advance of our requested meeting so, that you can prepare yourselves appropriately.

We are aware that the 1080 discussion has been subject to many claims of “mis-information”, particularly around these aerial operations. Therefore, in good faith, we will appoint an independent “fact-checker” to adjudicate on the answers.

We are happy to take on the administration of arranging the meeting and co-ordinate the additional guest list if you would let us know a date that will suit you and the relevant staff members you require to attend. We will be happy to try and accommodate any date after the 11th of June. I realise this is after the date you had indicated commencement for this operation however, had you come to us earlier, we may have been in a position to arrange things a bit quicker.

In view of the lack of facilities in Luggate, our suggested venues would be either the Hawea Flat Community Hall which we can secure for free and is available on either Monday evenings or Thursday evenings after 7pm. Or, we are checking dates that the Lake Wanaka Centre is available and will forward you some dates as soon as possible. The Lake Wanaka Centre will have an associated charge and we would expect you to incur this cost as part of your community consultation budget, if this is the preferred venue.

There has been some reluctance in the past by your Organization, and associated parties, to answer these same questions however, it is a matter of public urgency that you do so, before irreparable damage is caused by your actions, as was nearly the case in 2017 with the residential water supplies.

This list of questions has been generated by the wider community at a gathering in Luggate on the 21st of May. This was coordinated by a local volunteers and is a community initiative under the collective name Luggate 1080 Action Group.

Before commencing the poison operation, we formally ask that in the spirit of human decency, you answer these questions first.

Given the urgency of this subject, please respond with your intentions by close of business on Tuesday, 4th of June so, that may continue with arranging the necessary details and ensure invites are put out to the relevant parties.

Yours sincerely and on behalf of people representing

Luggate 1080 Action Group

Cherilyn Walthew

Tracey Morrow

Carol Sawyer

Kirstin Dana

Joel Lund


4 luggate

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NOTE: If you are new to the 1080 poisoning program, here is a good article to start with … WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CONCERNED ABOUT 1080?

A must watch also is Poisoning Paradise, the doco made by the GrafBoys (banned from screening on NZ TV, yet a 4x international award winner). Their website is tv-wild.com. Their doco is a very comprehensive overview with the independent science to illustrate the question marks that remain over the use of this poison. There are links also on our 1080 resources page to most of the groups, pages, sites etc that will provide you with further information.

This is a venue for pointing to the independent science you won’t read in mainstream. It is not a forum to host for and against debate, you will have to find another venue to do that. Social media is a good option. And we neither advocate nor condone violence.

Some insights on DoC from insiders

Some insights on DoC here from insiders … note that familiar word ‘restructure’ the the smoke & mirror modus operandi of the corporates. When the music stops (the restructure music) … less bums on seats, more work for those who are left, more profits for CE & the likes. A post Rogernomics tactic.

Insiders pan DOC’s corporate embrace

From newsroom.co.nz

Another sign of how the Department of Conservation has lost its way, some insiders and ex-staffers say, is its embrace of corporate management methods. David Williams reports.

Faced with staff discontent, the Department of Conservation called in consultants and rolled out a suite of management tools. First there was the so-called interface project, to improve relations between scientific and operational staff. After that, there was “team process” and “reflection logs”, and, for managers, “single-point accountability”.

DOC director-general Lou Sanson, a proponent of the changes, says when he was appointed in 2013 the department was “siloed”, after two big restructures that shed 250 jobs. The new wave of staff interactions have led to huge advances, he says.

But critics say the new set of behavioural rules are another sign DOC has lost its way – showing how disconnected the leadership of the organisation’s become from the work it’s there to do. One former DOC worker says the department’s been captured by fads, which has ushered in a period of “empty change”. They paint a picture of excruciatingly awkward, hours-long meetings of unnecessary navel-gazing.

Another former DOC staffer says: “A tremendous amount of money, time and effort was being spent on what I would regard as wasted projects trying to make communication internally within the department better.”

‘Just doing his job’

A current DOC insider says the changes accentuated the decision-making authority of managers, who were encouraged to manage workers more assertively. That’s made them more sensitive to people who – like departed ecologist Nick Head – challenge authority about poor decisions.

Head was controversially suspended for sending photos to conservation organisations, after being asked to do so, of irrigation pipeline work on public conservation land. But some of his ex-colleagues say he was just doing his job and was effectively punished for speaking up about “piss-poor” decisions.

READ MORE

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@environment/2018/07/16/155418/insiders-pan-docs-corporate-embrace?fbclid=IwAR1Mcy4HgoohTj3BAl4xf2lCJTOGQ02wB6EIYzRxFG_FQ4nidGNg_Tu5qXM

DoC 1080 drop kills 8 cattle – farmers tell their story (the GrafBoys)

Published on Sep 21, 2018

On the 6th of September the Department of Conservation aerially spread 1080 poison bait across the Mapara Reserve. The baits were also spread less than 200 metres from the Stone family home. 8 cows were killed as a result of the operation, and in this exclusive interview, the farmers involved discuss what happened, and why they’re at odds with the Department of Conservation…. click the link to view the interview … https://youtu.be/uLV1uNaTlA0

Far North 1080 aerial drop called off following outrage from iwi over no consultation by DoC

“The meetings were more like “information sessions” … “At no time did they ever stand up to the iwi authority and say ‘do you agree to us dropping 1080 out of a helicopter onto this land. At no time.”

These are familiar words around NZ these days & a characteristic of Agenda 2030 (formerly Agenda 21). The method used in these meetings that as the person says are more like information sessions, are run using a special technique called the Delphi technique. The merely give the public the illusion of having been consulted. District Councils are using it also when they consult the public on their plans. They’re getting very gung ho in my opinion. Provide these scams of consultation then fire ahead and do what they planned to do all along. We’re seeing this time after time and opposing them is very difficult. Regarding iwi consultation/partnership, in the Horowhenua recently the local Council was seen via a leaked report, to have paid a local iwi a large sum of money to halt their objection to the council’s plan for partly treated sewage disposal on wahi tapu. A Crown tactic from time immemorial, find a complicit individual or group & by pass all the rest.

Here in the case of 1080 drops it appears not all iwi had been consulted. This matter was highlighted in June this year.

The article is from stuff.co.nz

The Department of Conservation has postponed a controversial 1080 aerial drop in the Far North following outrage from iwi who say they weren’t consulted.

A small group of Whangaroa residents obtained information from DOC under the Official Information Act after hearing about its plan for an aerial drop on the 2400 hectare Whangaroa forest for winter-spring of this year to reduce pest numbers.

Spokesperson Asha Anderson said when she shared the document with the community some were shocked to see their names listed as being ‘fully supportive’ of the plan.

“In fact, the opposite was true and some had actually spoken out against 1080 at DOC’s hui,” Anderson said. “This is a serious breach of trust, and included misrepresentation of a local trust and Treaty partner.”

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/106724561/DOC-postpones-Far-North-1080-aerial-drop-following-outrage-from-iwi

Resistance to using 1080 grows in Far North: DoC has misled the public on operations costs, consultation & perceived support

The Department of Conservation’s plan for a 1080 aerial drop in public and private forests in the Far North later this year is meeting growing resistance.

Critics say use of the poison over more than 60 years has had devastating effects on wildlife, killing indiscriminately, inflicting an “extremely cruel and inhumane death” that often takes days. Locals for Responsible Conservation also argue that it poisons water, including sources used by people.

“Poisoned animals are left to rot in the forest and waterways, and remain toxic for many, many months,” a spokesman said.

“Dropping deadly poison over our environment is not an acceptable practice, and it is not sustainable.

“There are many alternatives that contribute positively to our communities and our employment opportunities that do not risk our health and our environment.

“We support sustainable, responsible conservation that benefits local communities and respects our environment, including all creatures great and small.”

Meanwhile a reply to an Official Information Act request from Locals for Responsible Conservation, received in March, raised more questions, glossed over the risks and showed that DOC had misled the public about the cost of the operations and local support for the drop, the group said.

A number of the groups listed as having been consulted said they had not been, while others had wrongly been cited as supportive.

http://www2.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=12073542

Expressway past Levin is a high stakes game to HDC’s in-house Economic Development Board

From Veronica Harrod

Expressway past Levin a high stakes game

The land and property development agenda of Horowhenua District Council and council’s in-house economic development board would implode if the New Zealand Transport Agency decides not to proceed with the expressway past Levin demonstrating just how high the stakes are.

Otaki electorate MP Nathan Guy, a National Party MP, brought along National Party leader Simon Bridges and new transport minister Jami-Lee Ross to the second Levin public meeting Mr Guy has held in the last six weeks pushing for the expressway to proceed. Mr Bridges was the transport minister under the former National led Government.

The motivations of Mr Guy, in particular, are questionable in light of council’s role in land and property development which is entirely based on a November 2015 New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) report commissioned by the council and the board called, “Investment in transport infrastructure: Effects on economic and demographic outlook.”

A July 6, 2016 council agenda states, “The assessment determined that the Wellington National Corridor investment represents a ‘free hit’ to Horowhenua, and creates an opportunity for the district to target population growth, employment, and economic activity levels significantly higher than both otherwise and previously expected.”

Council’s chief executive David Clapperton and economic development manager Shanon Grainger have repeatedly used forcasted growth statistics included in the NZIER report as a justification for rolling out an explosion in the number of land and development projects across the district.

Without the economic justification’s provided for in the NZIER report difficult questions would be asked of council about its close and secretive relationship with the economic development board, whose members have multimillion dollar interests in land and development and construction industries.

Council draft and consultation documents that rely on the expressway proceeding include council’s 20 year Long Term Plan, the Horowhenua growth strategy 2040 and the yet-to-be released Levin Town Centre Plan.

According to the Quotable Values database Mr Guy also has a significant amount of land and property interests in the north east sector of Levin at Koputaroa, one of the preferred expressway routes, which equates to at least $6 million over eight separate lots. The sale date of two further purchases he made in this sector is withheld from the Quotable Value database so have not been included.

If the expressway does proceed this means Mr Guy could potentially financially benefit from the expressway either through the sale of land confiscated under the Public Works Act or land and property development projects on land he owns next to the expressway route.

The decision made by NZTA could be a game changer for Horowhenua with residents facing unsustainable rates rises due to land and property development and associated negative environmental effects from an explosion in new builds connecting to an essential infrastructure council’s LTP states is ageing and end of life.

According to council’s 20 year draft and consultation documents there are no plans by council to consult the community on an economic development strategy moving into the future even though the public were not consulted on the now expired 2014-2017 economic development strategy that continues to be applied by the council.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, suit
Photo, from left, Otaki MP Nathan Guy, former Prime Minister Bill English and former Horowhenua District Council mayor Brendan Duffy at an Electra After 5 event.

Findings and assessments from the NZIER report were presented at an “After 5” event on 24 March 2016.

Draconian media policy adopted by Horowhenua District Council

by Veronica Harrod

Horowhenua District Council has adopted a media policy that refuses to recognise media questions unless the questions are from, “a news media organisation registered by the New Zealand Companies Office.”

“Any further enquiries that are not for a news media organisation registered by the New Zealand Companies Office will be treated as Official Information Requests,” said council’s communications advisor Trish Hayward. The council also wants to know what news organisations the information is being provided to and what the deadline is.

Dr Gavin Ellis, author of ‘Complacent Nation’, a book that explores the erosion of New Zealanders’ right to know said, “The council is bound by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act’s principle of availability that states information should be made available unless there is a good reason for withholding it.”

“Nothing in the Act gives council the right to withhold information on the grounds that a publication and deadline are not given by the information seeker. I believe that, if the council refuses to supply information to a freelancer for that reason, there are good grounds for a complaint to the Ombudsman. It is useful for council officers to know the deadline to which a journalist is working but that is in order to expedite the flow of information, not to stem it,” said Dr Ellis.

The council’s media policy was adopted after questions were asked about how council was fulfilling its legislative requirement to consult on a very important 20 year 2018-2038 Long Term Plan (LTP).

This is the first time the district has been presented with a draft 20 year plan, all previous one’s have been ten year plans. Council has signalled an intention to rate the small communities of Waitarere, Hokio, Ohau, Manakau and Waikawa $106 million for new water and waste water systems due to “new growth.”

New growth that has been created by land and property developers who haven’t contributed one cent towards essential infrastructure since council voted to cancel contributions in 2015. Since then there has been an explosion of land and property development in Horowhenua.

There will only be three days before submissions on the draft 2018-2038 LTP close on 26 March if the council wait 21 days under the OIA to answer the questions.

Council has been asked (1) why public consultations are being held at the Levin Aquatic Centre instead of Te Takere that is regarded as the centre of the community? (2) Whether council has more responsibility to ensure ratepayers are fully informed considering an intention to raise $106 million for new water and waste water infrastructure in “new growth” areas? (3) why it is acceptable land and property developers haven’t contributed one cent to essential infrastructure in “growth areas” yet ratepayers are expected to pay? (4) How much does the infrastructure rate equates to in dollar terms for each affected area? (5) Given the complexity of the draft 20 year LTP whether public consultations should include more than four relatively obscure public meetings? (6) What has council been doing to consult residents that need assistance to understand the draft LTP implications (7) Why has the council called the 20 year LTP, “Consultation in preparation of 2018-2038 Long Term Plan” instead of a draft document? (8) Why has the council decided to hold so few consultations and none at Te Takere? What was the rationale behind that decision? (9) Why doesn’t council doesn’t visit marae, associations and groups around the district and tell them how they will be directly affected? (10) Wouldn’t travelling to Marae be an effective way to consult with Maori ratepayers? (11) Why is a public meeting on the Otaki to Levin North expressway considered important enough to be held at Te Takere but not the district’s LTP? (12) Why only one month for consultation on a complex and lengthy document? (13) Why is council running so many consultations simultaneous taking into consideration residents have busy lives and, unlike the council staff, are already juggling many responsibilities and obligations? (14) Does the council think the consultation process on a number of important documents simultaneously would meet the standards of the Office of the Auditor General if a governance complaint was made? (15) The draft LTP states “Look out for upcoming consultations that are outside the consultation on the LTP. The outcomes from these may result in future changes to the LTP.” Shouldn’t the LTP be informing the other consultations not the other way around?

Why an Inquiry needs to be held into the business interests of Horowhenua District Council

A further illustration of how democracy in NZ has become a mere illusion. From Veronica Harrod.

Commentary; Why an Inquiry needs to be held into the business interests of Horowhenua District Council and other matters

Here’s a little story that demonstrates how and why communications is used as a weapon by Horowhenua District Council to drive strategies and plans that favour the financial interests of a small group of businessmen on the economic development board.

A communications strategy to assist the economic development board members secure outcomes favourable to their business interests was identified as one of six priorities by a council Growth Response Team comprising the Chief Executive Officer David Clapperton, Economic Development Manager Shanon Grainger and council in 2016.

Priorities include (1) Reviewing the Horowhenua Development/Growth Plan (2) Developing the Levin Town Centre Plan (3) Developing a Horowhenua Traffic Management Plan in support of the Horowhenua Development/Growth Plan and Levin Town Centre Plan (4) Investigating and establishing an Investment vehicle to drive the plans forward (5) Developing a Horowhenua 2030 Strategic Plan and developing a Communications Strategy to support the above initiatives.

The public are being “consulted” on all these plans and strategies now and council has voted to support the establishment of an Investment Trust initially comprising economic development board members which council’s chief executive David Clapperton will “assist” for the first two years. Deputy mayor Wayne Bishop voted against mayor Michael Feyen also being involved in the establishment of the trust.

Make no mistake. These plans and strategies the community are being consulted on now are entirely dedicated to advancing the interests of the economic development board. Up to 40 percent of public assets owned by council may be sold to finance the board’s new lethal toy which the Investment Trust is. Perhaps the public would prefer any sale of public assets to write down increasing debt levels or set aside for essential infrastructure projects. All the projects the Trust want to drive rely on the council plans and strategies being favourable to their business interests. Which is why we are actually at what is referred to as a tipping point. Everything is converging that will cement the board’s control of the council and the community in a final and irrevocable way.

A communications strategy that refers to the Investment Trust as “by the people for the people” is nothing more than empty words simply because it is not true. Board chair Cameron Lewis used those words to describe the Trust’s activities which is a very effective communications strategy. What’s not to love about “by the people, for the people” right? But the Investment Trust is the board’s strategy and it advances the financial interests of board members.

Holding only four relatively obscure public meetings on the district’s first, very important, draft 20 year Long Term Plan is a deliberate communications strategy. Holding the only Levin public meeting at the Aquatic Centre instead of Te Takere is a deliberate communications strategy. Interestingly enough the council considers it important enough to hold a public meeting on the new expressway at Te Takere though. Which it is but so too, surely, is it important to hold public meetings on council’s draft documents at Te Takere too. No doubt the council and Otaki MP Nathan Guy intend on whipping up community opposition to the north eastern route because it extends across land and property development projects in the north east being driven by council and land developers and included in the 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan which the community were not consulted on.

Isn’t Te Takere supposed to be the hub of the community and yet not one public meeting on council’s draft documents is being held at Te Takere. All of a sudden the Aquatic Centre has become the place where council holds public meetings. It would be bizarre nonsense if it was not able to be explained as a deliberate communications strategy. Not referring to the documents as “draft” plans is a deliberate communications strategy. In the public notices section of a community newspaper the draft 2018-2038 Long Term Plan is referred to as, “Consultation in preparation of 2018-2038 Long Term Plan.” It is not called a draft document which is very concerning.

Bombarding the public with, I have counted ten consultations so far running simultaneously, is a deliberate communications strategy. It ensures minimal public participation because the public is drowning in “consultation” documents. But the council and economic development board, when they are questioned, can turn around and say, “the public was consulted.” A complaint is being laid with the Office of the Auditor General on governance grounds.

If the public want to participate in a serious and considered way there are at least eight separate and complex documents on the 2018-2038 draft Long Term Plan alone. And that is just one draft document. Say each document is approximately 200 pages, and this is conservative, means having time, energy and capability to read approximately 2000 pages and understand complex financial information. Then after reading approximately 2000 pages the public then require the capacity to analyse the draft plans and strategies to understand the consequences of the impacts. After I read the draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 Consultation document was available on the council’s website in the “have your say” section I went to download a copy. But it wasn’t available. The growth strategy replaces its predecessor the 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan (HDP). The 2008 HDP is essential a land developers bible with 12 land development projects alone in the Levin section of the plan. Increasing urban density which the public are being “consulted” on now is recommended in the Implementation section of the 2008 HDP.

I say the word consultation in quote marks because overwhelming the public with plans and strategies and decisions can only impede not facilitate consultation. But this is a deliberate communications strategy too. The public generally think communications strategies are about informing the public. They are not. The most sophisticated communications strategy, which board member and former Satchi and Satchi head Antony Young no doubt knows a lot about, is all about manipulating communications to advance third party interests; in this case the third party interests are the economic development board’s financial interests.

But to continue with my own experience I phoned the council and asked the customer service representative who answered the phone where the growth strategy was. She looked for it and couldn’t find it. She sought assistance before telling me that the draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 was within the web link to the draft 2018-2038 Long Term Plan!! A normal person would think well, that’s pretty stupid, isn’t it. Why is a totally unrelated draft document buried underneath another draft document on a separate matter? The answer is how communications is presented is also a deliberate communications strategy.

But when I went to the link I realised I had simply been fobbed off because the draft strategy document wasn’t there either. So I phoned the council again and asked to speak to council’s communications advisor Trish Hayward and she spent some time away from the phone before coming back to me and saying a group manager had not signed it off which is why it wasn’t available. But, I said, there is a public notice saying it is available. This kind of communications behaviour is a deliberate communications strategy.

All the plans and strategies the public are being consulted on now represent the apex of the economic development board’s plan to secure their own financial interests which is why a report will be submitted to appropriate government representatives and agencies calling for an Inquiry into the business interests of Horowhenua District Council and other matters.

The argument in favour of holding an Inquiry is based on the Western Australia 1991 Commission of Inquiry into the business interests of the state government. Perth premier Brian Burke and other government representatives engaged in business dealings with several prominent businessmen including Alan Bond, who was the most well known. These dealings resulted in a loss of public money, estimated at a minimum of $600 million and the insolvency of several large corporations [source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WA_Inc].

The main and primary results of a Royal Commission that was subsequently set up to investigate the Commercial Activities of Government and Other Matters found state politicians were using their own version of our Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act inappropriately and, as it transpired, illegally to hold meetings in private to plan and scheme business deals that resulted in the loss of public funds. The Commission of Inquiry was only set up due to the actions of strong public advocacy by the activist group, People for Fair and Open Government.

This out-of-control juggernaut must be stopped in its tracks which is also why council chief executive David Clapperton should not be reappointed to the role of council chief executive. He is compromised by his close relationship with the board and his own conflict of interest. In November 2016 he set up a land development company with his wife Catherine Whitehouse which contravenes his contract with the council. He did not declare his conflict of interest for three months. When he did the council public notice did not state the general nature of the matter that would be discussed, as required by law, and the former chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk committee deputy mayor and land developer Wayne Bishop allowed him to declare the conflict of interest in a publicly excluded session of council on the grounds of “commercial sensitivity” without informing the public why that part of the meeting would be publicly excluded. Which he is required to do under the Local Government Act.

We are talking about the professional behaviour of key figures within council including Mr Clapperton and Cr Bishop. Suffice to say Cr Bishop is no longer the chair of that particular committee which, one would hope, means democracy does work except it doesn’t and it isn’t. Not in Horowhenua. The Horowhenua people don’t know what democracy looks like anymore much less what it feels like. No wonder there is a high rate of ill-health in the district. Mayor Feyen, who is also on the MidCentral District Health Board, was quoted in a local newspaper saying, “research was needed to help understand why the district’s people suffered a high incidence of health issues.” The pressures of living under a regime where the ratepayer is effectively held hostage by a council that funnels public money into private business and takes no notice of the community’s preferences is not healthy. Democracy has been eroded by the council and key figures within council that are acting on behalf of a small group of businessmen and their financial interests across Investment, construction and land development industries. The Investment Trust explicitly says council, Government and private equity will fund projects. Yes, projects that directly financially benefit board members interests. It is time to hold an Inquiry before the Trust and the economic development board convince the Government to pump economic development funds into the Trust under the guise of economic development.

RELATED:
WA Inc was a political scandal in Western Australia. In the 1980s, the state government, which was led for much of the period by premier Brian Burke, engaged in business dealings with several prominent businessmen, including Alan Bond, Laurie Connell, Dallas Dempster, John Roberts, and Warren Anderson. These dealings resulted in a loss of public money, estimated at a minimum of $600 million and the insolvency of several large corporations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WA_Inc

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.

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Dysfunctional DoC & 1080: Disturbances in Whitianga: Breaches And Aggression (Kapiti Independent News)

Note: Scroll down at the link to  February 14, 15, 16  and 18 to see the earlier articles to this series.

From Kapiti Independent News

This whole raruraru (trouble) in Whitianga and beyond, demonstrates that the Department of Conservation is dysfunctional, and treats local residents and local government alike with arrogance.

The public experiences the Department of Conservation as a law unto itself.  It does not inform local authorities, it does not follow its own consultation guidelines, and it breaches statutes.

For example, the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act under which DoC receives consents for aerial poisoning requires :

  • caution where there is scientific or technical uncertainty ( Section 7);
  • protection of Maori taonga (Section 8)
  • and consultation ( Section  5).

READ MORE

http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/disturbances-in-whitianga-5-breaches-and-aggression/