Tag Archives: Councillors

Fish & Game council took legal advice to ignore dead man’s wishes, leaked audit report shows

Praps you’d better think carefully when you make a bequest for you money to be used as you wish for some worthy cause when you’re gone. Or double check the wording of your will. Seems like it could be a piece of cake to overturn your wishes on how your money is spent.

From the NZ Herald

A keen fisherman left $500,000 to Fish & Game in his will for restocking rivers with salmon – but they ignored his wishes and used it for, among other things, fixing their head office.

A Fish & Game regional council took legal advice to ignore the last wishes of the keen angler, a leaked report shows.

An investigation into North Canterbury Fish & Game Council was launched earlier this year after five of its own councillors raised financial and transparency concerns and questioned how a generous bequest was being spent.

A draft review of the audit’s findings, leaked to the Herald on Sunday, also calls for the appointment of an independent chair to guide the troubled council through its difficulties.

The report reveals that passionate Christchurch fisherman James Walter McIntyre left more than $500,000 to North Canterbury Fish & Game in his will.

The conditions of the bequest, seen by the Herald on Sunday, stated: “I gift – my residuary estate to Fish & Game NZ North Canterbury. Without imposing any trust, I request that a member of the NZ Salmon Angler’s Association be present when Fish & Game NZ make any decision on using the benefit received under this will and that the benefit received be used to restock the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers with salmon.”

On March 7, 2017, the North Canterbury group received $500,000 and, on June 26, the “balance of the bequest”, a further $23,935.24.

After taking “high-level legal advice” in August last year, North Canterbury Fish & Game Council chairman Trevor Isitt advised that they were “not bound by the estate wishes”, the draft audit report states.

In March this year, $49,500 was used for improvements to the regional council’s Johns Rd head office in Christchurch.

The following month, interest on the money totalling $16,875 in two payments, was made to the Water and Wildlife Habitat Trust – a separate entity with independent trustees but which receives funding from North Canterbury Fish & Game.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12133324

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Official Information Act request refused by Horowhenua District Council

By Veronica Harrod

An Official Information Act request for the minutes of economic development board meetings held in 2016 and 2017 has been refused by Horowhenua District Council.
In response to the request council’s chief executive David Clapperton said, “The Horowhenua Economic Development Board is not a committee of the Horowhenua District Council. Council is not required to hold and does not possess copies of Horowhenua Economic Development Board meeting minutes. We are therefore unable to provide the information you have requested.”
Profiles of the nine members of the economic development board featured on the council website include three councillors. Deputy mayor Wayne Bishop who is also deputy chair of the economic development board, and councillors Barry Judd and Piri-Hira Tukapua.
Board chairperson Cameron Lewis is rumoured to be standing as mayor at the next local body elections. He has been asked to confirm whether this information is true and his response will be published once confirmation or denial has been received.
Other members on the board include men regarded as “captains of industry” Andy Wynne, Antony Young, Evan Kroll, Larry Ellison and Ron Turk.
The request was made because of concerns the board is having an undue and unmandated amount of influence and control over decisions made by council.
Horowhenua’s economic development three year strategy (2014-2017) states it is, “a ten year vision to guide three year outcomes, priorities, actions and initiatives” that was developed, “with business as well as the council, regional council, central government and council’s key partners.”
The strategy also states an intention to take, “economic development…to the centre of council’s actions.”
After the Official Information Act (OIA) request was received the council removed the profiles of board members from its website in the first instance.
When asked to comment on why this had been done council’s communications advisor Trish Hayward said, “Council is in the process of updating the information, layout and photographs on the Horowhenua Economic Development Board page of our website. The page has been temporarily deactivated while the update is carried out. We expect the update to be complete, and the page to be reactivated, early this year.”
The profiles and page featuring board members has been activated again.
The OIA request has been referred to the Office of the Ombudsman to determine whether council is required to release the minutes of board meetings for 2016 and 2017.

Click on the heading below to go to HDC’s website featuring the board members …

Horowhenua Economic Development Board (Members)


Note: I do recall clearly in the council meeting where the Mayor’s chosen deputy was demoted, shortly after his election. One of the reasons given for his demotion at the time in that public-allowed meeting was because he had spoken out about his concerns regarding these non-elected people who were members of the above board, having access to council/business information ahead of their potential competitors. The board members were named one by one at the time & those present were told that these people provided employment for the Horowhenua. Since that time one of those employers has shifted operations to Vietnam with a loss of 30 local jobs. You can read about that here:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11857632

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 



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.

Animal Carcasses and 1080 Poison Baits Contaminate Waterways – District Health Board Responds Clyde Graf

From Tasmanian Times
he Graf Boys – Clyde & Steve Graf

Rural families all across New Zealand are being exposed to 1080 poison, and increased risks of bacteria from decomposing animal carcasses, in their drinking water. In August, two councillors from Waikato Regional Council presented concerns to the Waikato District Health Board’s Medical Officers of Health, after many community members were unwittingly drawing water that had 1080 poison bait dropped directly into it. The Department of Conservation, one of the government agencies that undertake aerial 1080 poisoning operations, failed to appropriately inform the local residents.

A video covering several different incidents includes testimony from a Hawkes Bay family explaining how they were exposed to the poison while walking through a local forest. When they visited their hospital they were informed there wasn’t much that could be done, as there was no test immediately available for 1080 poisoning.

When aerial operations are undertaken, poison bait is dropped directly into streams within the operational areas. Landcare Research states in their water testing protocol that “water samples taken within 8 hours of bait application are expected to provide the greatest likelihood of detecting any residual 1080.” One of the conditions set by the Medical Officer of Health is that the poison operator provide mitigation if it’s requested by household occupiers or managers of huts/camping grounds, until any water contamination is proved clear via water testing.

READ MORE

http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php?%2Fpr-article%2FAnimal-Carcasses-and-1080-Poison-Baits-Co%2F

Chief executives don’t support intercepting emails – unlike Horowhenua council’s boss

 

From Stuff.co.nz

Chief executives from councils in the lower North Island see no reason for intercepting emails – a practice Horowhenua District Council’s boss uses to “protect” his staff.

In an audit report, Horowhenua council chief executive David Clapperton was shown to be intercepting emails from members of the public, Horowhenua’s mayor and councillors.

He would block emails, redirect them, or let them continue to their intended destinations, which he said was “necessary to protect my employees so they can carry out their roles safely without undue interference, inappropriate criticism and racist slurs”.

In some cases, the council did not inform people that their emails were being intercepted, according to multiple sources.

READ MORE:
Complaint made to Privacy Commissioner over Horowhenua email interception
Councillors stand by under-fire chief executive embroiled in email snooping revelations
Concerns raised about email interception at Horowhenua District Council
Editorial: Clapperton’s position is untenable
Legal questions about ‘astonishing’ email interceptions
Councillors stand by under-fire chief executive embroiled in email snooping revelations

Some emails that were sent by residents to councillors – not the council – were among those intercepted by Clapperton.

Chief executives from Manawatu and Tararua district councils, and Horizons Regional Council, said there was no reason to intercept emails at their councils.

READ MORE

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95172391/chief-executives-dont-support-intercepting-emails–unlike-horowhenua-councils-boss

As the Foxton Main Street Vigil Sets In – HDC Continue to Pay Lip Service to their Statements on Iwi Relationships

Folks from all around the Horowhenua gathered in the main street this week to express their disagreement once again with decisions that the Council have made that affect the public and not themselves. Need I repeat … the saga over folks wanting clean water and the Council wanting a street beautification that won’t particularly benefit them personally because they don’t even live in Foxton. They are in fact spending $1.6 million doing up the street to look like all the other main streets around the countryside, and meanwhile we bathe in chlorine and drink the same with the other contaminants contained therein. Slow poison from the cumulative effect or filter it at very great cost that few can afford. The street do up could wait or have a cheaper makeover in terms of new seal while more important matters are addressed like paying down the $68 million plus debt (other estimates are $100 mill) and fixing the water. What I have noticed at the protest is, of the many people who have stopped by and asked genuine questions, only a very few felt they’d been properly consulted and those who recall the more recent consultation meetings said they had been shut down. Those who could recall very early discussions, were back as far as 2010, when there was not a $68 million debt. This has changed now and there are different priorities. Debt & water.

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People beginning to gather for the second day of the protest in Foxton’s main street

The Council has reaffirmed their flip flop … Foxtonians received on Wednesday (the first day of the protest) a written letter from three members of Council pressing home in true DC fascist style (which is becoming the signature of Local Government dealings NZ wide … remember they’re corporations) that the street do up will be going ahead, AGAINST the promise also made to Mayor Feyen by the CE. (Hear Mayor Feyen speak about this here). Agenda 21 has seeped well into the councils now. Learn on our Govt Watch pages (main menu) how many folks have been ruined in more ways than one in their fights with local Councils. (You can read the the letter from the three Councillors at the following link: foxton-main-street-upgrade). Councils typically hold ‘consultation’ meetings, shut down the dissenters who don’t agree with the plan, tick the ‘consult’ box and plow ahead regardless. Contracts appear to go to certain people and other people complain they are not opened for public tendering.

Now the media reports that our new Mayor has been thrown off the committee that is looking at the community housing sales people don’t want (and he has always openly stated that he is against selling off the housing stock), so much for democratic representation. His anti-sale stance gets him removed from the committee? And Council is democratic? In his term as a councilor he and Cr Ross Campbell were put off committees with no reason given, he spoke about this as Mayor in the early Council meeting when Councillors removed Ross Campbell as his appointed Deputy.
(You can sign the stop the housing sale petition here). 

Remember also, HDC is in at least $70 million debt, a debt that has been regularly questioned with no answers, and has met with a blatant refusal to open the books to the public. So what’s to hide?

Watch this space because HDC are in for a long battle here. People will not be run rough shod over forever, and particularly not the people of the land, tangata whenua. Council appears on their website to be all for partnership. Read their fine sounding rhetoric… remember :

“The treaty is a partnership between Māori and the Crown, which requires the partners to act toward each other ‘reasonably and with the utmost good faith.’4  Treaty Principles – from the Waitangi Tribunal

Iwi Relationships

Horowhenua District Council recognises the importance and special position of tangata whenua within the region. 

Memorandum of Partnerships are becoming increasingly important as Council seeks closer and meaningful working relationships with the Maori community, to achieve effective consultation on a wide range of issues affecting our respective areas of governance.

Maori see people and the environment as closely inter-related and share with us a strong interest in maintaining and protecting the environment as well as developing the economic future of the area.

Through its decision-making processes, Council recognises the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and kaitiakitanga, providing for the relationship of Maori and their traditions with their ancestral lands, water sites, waahi tapu and other taonga.

Council is committed to the continuing process of consultation with Maori in the District, and has worked with iwi on a number of collaborative projects including our prestigious Culture and Community Centre – Te Takeretanga o Kura-Hau-Po.
SOURCE

In reality however, and as we ‘speak’, this fine DC has plans to allow the spraying of human effluent (basically human sewage) all over a Māori burial ground … a wahi tapu at Matakarapa in Te Awahou. Now if anyone should head up to the local public cemetery with one of those septic tank vehicles full to the brim with sewage and empty it all over the graves there, what do you think would happen?

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deer Mass Poisoned – 1080 Dropped Directly into Streams that Flow into Lake Taupo – Farmer Speaks Out

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More indiscriminate poisoning of paradise, the no longer clean green Aotearoa. As the farmer points out, “they do the drops, and they walk away. They never see the aftermath like we see.” If you feel 1080 is safe and nothing to worry about, please watch the Graf Boys’ videos on Youtube (see our 1080 pages for links). Real eye openers!  And remember the NZ corporation parading as a government has vested interests in its continued use with recently revealed investments in the poison.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

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See how widely our corporation (the NZ ‘govt’) utilizes 1080

scoop.co.nz

” … poisonous baits were dropped directly into almost all streams within the forested areas. The streams all flow into Lake Taupo”.

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1080, in spite of denials, finds its way into our precious and already polluted waterways
Friday, 19 August 2016, 4:21 pm

Deer Mass Poisoned – Lake Taupo Farmer Speaks Out

On the 3rd Of July 1080 poison bait was spread across 50,000 hectares of the Hauhungaroa Ranges, which are situated on Western Bays of Lake Taupo.

Beef and sheep farmer Lance Aldrige was informed by a farm hand that he had found four poisoned deer laying on the farm four days after the aerial operation was completed. A field trip was arranged so that Waikato Regional Councillors could be shown the impacts of the resource consents their Council issues.

Many more poisoned deer were found as the group made their way around the farm and bush edges. Lance Aldridge has had to endure the impacts of aerial poison drops for over 30 years ” This is the sort of thing a lot of people don’t see. They do the drops, and they walk away. They never see the aftermath like we see.” He goes on to explain on camera how the operations are difficult to live and work around.

READ MORE


RELATED:  

WAIKATO REGIONAL COUNCIL PERMITS POISONING OF WATERWAYS TO KILL DEER

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EnvirowatchRangitikei

“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

2Copy of Anne

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.

dr russel norman by lake pic credit green party
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.

WWTP and Lake
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

 

 

 

 

 

Council to discuss upgrade of waste water treatment plant

This is from the Wanganui Chronicle and updates us on where RDC is up to with their plans to solve the significantly long standing status of non-compliance with regard to the leachate pollution of the Tutaenui Stream. (To read the full history of this and the non compliance reports see former Martonian Hamish Allan’s submission to the consent hearings earlier this year. There should be an in stream biota survey every three years and it appears there have only been two). More on this later.

Recently a local resident who lives on the truck route informed me he sees 12 round trips per day of the leachate tanker. This is a significantly larger volume than the number that has been cited to the public. 

An upgrade is good news will not be before its time.

Here is the Chronicle article:

“A multi-million-dollar, three-year upgrade of the Marton wastewater treatment plant has been proposed.

Rangitikei district councillors will this morning discuss changes aimed at making the plant compliant with its resource consent.

The MWTP has been non-compliant for at least a decade, partly due to its acceptance of leachate (run-off) from the nearby Bonny Glen landfill. The latest compliance report found the plant’s discharge into the Tutaenui Stream “significantly non-compliant”. At times, ammoniacal nitrogen levels have been 35 times the recommended limit and deemed to adversely affect aquatic life…”

Read More:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=11496417