Tag Archives: Levin

The Levin 1080 fire: Part 2 (Kapiti Independent)

A follow up-article from Kapiti Independent News on the 1080 fire in Levin. Part 1 is here.

We first reported on this event in Levin on Feb 22nd & again on March 8th. At the time it was being discussed on a Facebook 1080 forum, a man reported the health effects he had been experiencing. I did exchange words with him then, inquiring further of his experience however he stopped responding to my messages.   EnvirowatchRangitikei


By Mary Wood and Anne Hunt

Where a substantial amount of hazardous substances are stored, the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 state that it is the responsibility of the person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), to ensure that a full risk assessment is carried out by Fire & Emergency NZ.

Outcomes from these risk assessments include ensuring that

  • crucial signage is erected around the storage areas
  • safe drainage facilities are available to prevent contamination of waterways.

In theory, these formalised procedures are overseen by the local District Health Board’s Chief Medical Officer, who, in the event of a fire or other emergency such as an earthquake, assess the risks to nearby residents and workers from any toxic smoke and fumes and if necessary, instigate the pre-arranged evacuation plan.

READ MORE

https://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/1080-fire-part-2/

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“Lake Horowhenua is on private land – it should not be seen in this century to be the local sewer for everyone else’s rubbish and pollutants”

From Vernonica Harrod

A range of historic firsts have been taking place at Horowhenua Lake Domain Board meetings in Levin since new board chair Jenny Rowan took up the role earlier this year.

A former mayor of Kapiti Coast District Council Ms Rowan, who represents the Board on behalf of the Director General of the Department of Conservation, delivered an historic first when she made a verbal submission in response to Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan consultation document last week.

She said the Board, “has responsibilities for the Domain land, buildings, and the surface waters of the lake for recreational purposes, so has an interest in what water (mostly storm water) enters the lake.

She said Lake Horowhenua is, “on private land – it should not be seen in this century to be the local sewer for everyone else’s rubbish and pollutants. The responsibility surely lies with other private land owners to be managing their own properties in a way that protects the lake from their pollutants such as nitrates, heavy metals and sediment run off. We would expect the HDC to invest in educating industry and agricultural operators better on their obligations around runoff and farm management.”

Then there was another first when the Board chair stated an intention, “to have meetings at a venue he [Philip Taueki] can attend” as there is a trespass notice preventing Mr Taueki from entering the council building in Levin. This means he cannot attend Board meetings. Mr Taueki is the great great grandson of paramount chief Taueki who signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and he is an owner of Lake Horowhenua.

Ms Rowan also said the fact that water to Mr Taueki’s residence at Lake Horowhenua has been turned off raised questions about the “human rights and morality of the decision.” In a verbal submission to the Board former councillor Anne Hunt said Mr Taueki has lived in a residence with no water supply for over 500 days. Horowhenua District Council chief executive David Clapperton has refused to turn the water back on.

Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen said he found the decision to turn the water off, “a breach of human rights…concerned about HDC taking the action it has and what it might lead to further down the track.”

Ms Rowan reiterated, “We need to have more conversations with Phillip. I am very committed to sorting this out. I find it unacceptable. He is down there. The Toby for the water is on Domain Board land. Need to think about this team,” she said to the other board members seated around the table. “We have a responsibility to turn that water on.”

 

 

Why are Horowhenua’s State-owned properties selling to private property developers for well below their Capital Value?

This is actually happening up & down NZ however this article by Veronica Harrod focuses on the Horowhenua. How is this fair given the pensioner housing sold at a loss of $1.86 million and the council wallows in burgeoning debt ($68 mill last time I looked) as are councils up and down the land. The new norm. Next of course will be rates rises to cover this debt & woe betide anybody who complains about that. Never mind the obvious mismanagement of funds on high by very well paid CEs everywhere. Our grandparents who helped accumulate these assets must be turning in their graves… EnvirowatchRangitikei


From Veronica Harrod

 

Land and development company owned by council deputy mayor Wayne Bishop purchased former Horowhenua Hospital site in 2014.

A land and property development company owned by Horowhenua District Council deputy mayor Wayne Bishop paid less than a quarter of the Capital Value for Levin’s former Horowhenua Hospital site in 2014.

According to the Quotable Values database the 4.92 hectare site listed as “Other-Health/Medical” which had a Capital Value of $3.8 million was sold to Wayne Bishop Investments Ltd on August 2014 for $968,000.

Cr Bishop also purchased the 48 hectare former Kimberley Hospital site on leasehold land in 2014 from MidCentral Health where he has been developing a staged “gated” 500 housing lifestyle development called Speldhurst Country Estate. In one year the RV of the former Kimberley Hospital site sky-rocketed from $3.8 million to $11.8 million.

Wayne Bishop Investments Ltd has made three other strategic land purchases adjacent to the former Horowhenua Hospital site including, in one instance, one he paid over six times the Registered Valuation (RV) for.

According to the Quotable Value database on 13 August 2014 Wayne Bishop Investments paid $968,000 for a residential-vacant lot in Hinemoa Street which had a RV of $165,000.

Two years later on September 1, 2016 Wayne Bishop Investments paid $1.2 million, double the RV of $520,000, for 2.33 hectares of land next to the former hospital site which means he owns 10.5 hectares of prime real estate land on Liverpool Street.

His company also purchased another 3.6 hectare block of land behind the former hospital site where Hinemoa Street and Awatea Street joins with Waimarie Park.

Last year the council voted in a publicly excluded council meeting to sell the council owned pensioner housing portfolio for a firesale price of $5.2 million to land and property developer Willis Bond which includes pensioner housing units at Waimarie Park.

An Audit NZ report for the Year ending 30 June 2017 presented to the public for the first time at the February 18 Finance, Audit and Risk committee revealed the council lost $1.86 million on the sale of the pensioner housing and 1.1 hectare of land to Willis Bond.

According to a leaked copy of the terms of sale Willis Bond are only required to retain the pensioner housing portfolio as community housing until 2029 but the public don’t know whether Cr Bishop has a conflict of interest or whether he declared a conflict of interest, because voting was done behind closed doors.

Cr Bishop has three land and development companies including Wayne Bishop Investments Ltd, Wayne Bishop Builder and Wayne Bishop that collectively own extensive land and property interests across New Zealand including Horowhenua.

After he was elected Cr Bishop openly stated in a media interview he would represent the “development community”, a euphemism for land and property developers, and revealed he had four Horowhenua land and property developments on the go.

He is now in an influential council position as deputy mayor and deputy chair of the council’s in-house economic development board, which has multi-million dollar vested interests in land and property development and construction industries.

Since he was elected to council in 2011, after securing 519 of 2189 votes, council has become increasingly involved in pushing a land and development agenda – including rolling out an extensive number of land and development projects – to such an extent the district is now referred to as the construction hub of the lower North Island.


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.


RELATED:
Massive Rates Rises Predicted in Horowhenua that will Subsidize Land Developers Reaping Potential Profits of Over $100 Million
THE ILLUSION OF DEMOCRACY – HOROWHENUA DISTRICT COUNCIL IS ROLLING ITS NEW DEPUTY MAYOR AND WON’T BE OPENING THE BOOKS … WHAT’S TO HIDE?

NOTE: Cr Campbell was originally removed from his new post as DM because he had spoken out about conflicts of interest within council as I recall it at that meeting which was preceded by a public protest and also streamed.

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.

Will Horowhenua ratepayers be paying for new water systems?… a demand created by land developers whom Council have exempted from Development Contributions

Information on financial impacts of new water and waste water systems still not available: All ratepayers potentially impacted.

Horowhenua District Council has refused to answer a direct question on the expected financial impact on ratepayers if new water and waste water systems are installed in five targeted areas including Waitarere, Hokio, Ohau, Manakau and Levin.

In response to a question asking for the impact “in dollar terms” Mr Clapperton replied, “Page 18 of the Consultation Document [2018-2038 Long Term Plan] explains the annual increase in rates for all households in the district currently connected to water.

“Within the new infrastructure settlements rates would increase by more since they would begin to pay the Water Supply Targeted rate when they start to receive this service.”

The service is forecasted to be delivered between 2027 and 2036. Waitarere has a waste water system but no water system.

As if Mr Clapperton’s answer isn’t confusing enough page 18 of the consultation document contains a table which includes the expected rates increases in each targeted area which gives the impression only the rate where the ratepayer lives will be applied.

However, the consultation document also makes the statement, “This additional service would mean an increase…for ALL [emphasis mine] households in the Horowhenua District who are connected to water [and waste water] services.”

A resident living in one of the targeted areas said in a conversation she had with the council’s asset manager engineer Sarie Van der Walt, the LTP contact on infrastructure included in the consultation document, ratepayers would be charged all the rates increases in the targeted area; not just the rate increase for the area where they lived.

Combined the total amounts to an expected $646.70 annual increase in rates but this is still less than half the amount councillor Christine Mitchell said rates are likely to increase in Waikawa Beach if new water and waste water systems are built.

Cr Mitchell reportedly made the comment at the last Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association AGM in December 2017 which was included in the WBRA newsletter as a predicted $1500 annual increase. She has not responded to requests for comment.

The council has therefore been asked the same question again to provide dollar figures for the expected rates impact if council’s preferred option of installing new water and waste water systems is adopted by council.

If ALL ratepayers connected to water and waste water systems are affected this could also impact ratepayers in all the other areas including Levin, Foxton, Foxton Beach, Tokomaru and Shannon.

Existing ratepayers are concerned they are having to pay for a demand created by land developers who have not had to pay one cent towards essential infrastructure costs since council cancelled development contributions in 2015.

In answer to this inequity Mr Clapperton said, “Council will be looking at several options to assist with funding growth-related projects, Development Contributions being one of the options available.”

However in the consultation document council says it won’t be considering the reintroduction of development contributions paid by land developers towards essential infrastructure until year 2019-2020.

Submissions on the consultation 20 year Long Term Plan close on March 26. The same day as consultations on the 2040 draft Growth Plan and Earthquake prone buildings also closes.

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Why is HDC allowing the felling of a protected Totara tree on a formerly Council-owned Foxton property, by the new owners Willis & Bond / Compassion Horowhenua? (amended article)

The original article posted earlier stated that the tree was a Kauri … apologies, it is in fact a Totara, but still a protected species. This is the original with amendments.

The Totara in question is on a property now owned by Willis & Bond / Compassion Horowhenua Housing. They are the new owners of Johnston Street community housing that was formerly Council owned. The tree to the right of the fence in the photo is to be cut back, that one is on Council property (Seaview Gardens). However the other tree to the left is to be felled. This native Totara is not currently listed as a ‘notable tree’, the only thing I understand that could prevent its being felled.  The by-laws apparently have recently changed in the Horowhenua preventing the species from being protected there. So how is this a forward move? Felling a protected native species? Have local iwi been consulted on this? Here we have the usual UN ‘sustainable’ spin that balances sustainable economies with sustainable environments … guess which one wins out, every time?

Copy of Jan 2018 015

It should in my opinion be cut back (for easier ongoing maintenance of the buildings if that is what is required) … but not felled. That is very backward thinking.

The following article reflects the direction Councils are taking in their professions of Treaty Partnership with regard to native trees. Their websites tend to pay lip service only to the Treaty. It is described in the article how the Auckland Council failed to support a rāhui placed on the Waitakere Forest to protect Kauri, another protected species.

“The council’s Environment and Community Committee chose to reject the rāhui request made byTe Kawarau-a-Maki, deciding instead to close only high-risk and medium-risk tracks.”

Read the article: Why aren’t people listening? Māori scientists on why rāhui are important

So it would appear the Horowhenua District Council is moving in a similar direction? With recent by-law changes the protected species is now set for the chop.

Note: I have requested of Council today (5th Feb) that the tree be made ‘notable’. They’ve referred my request to a ‘Strategic Planner’ to respond. Please consider requesting the same by sending an email to:

CustomerServices@horowhenua.govt.nz

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 

Shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail, drugged, car destroyed, home sledgehammered – something is very wrong with NZ’s justice system – (a must read book review)

A Book, “Man of Convictions” by Anne Hunt
Reviewed by Veronica Harrod

This is a book I’ve only part read but will be completing as soon as I have time. The little I’ve read is a shocking eye opener and indicative of the fact that something is terribly wrong with our justice system. Not the country I grew up in that is for sure.  EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 

Lake Horo 1200.JPG
Lake Horowhenua of which Philip Taueki is kaitiaki   [Photo: Pam Vernon]

Documented detail about Taueki’s battles as kaitiaki and the cost he has personally paid including being shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail; his car was destroyed beyond repair, his home by the lake was sledgehammered until only a shell remained, his much loved dogs were traumatised and he says he was “drugged against my will and without my knowledge.”

 

By Veronica Harrod

Anne Hunt, published by Potangotango Foundation, PO Box 664, Levin 5540, New Zealand, Man of Convictions: Taueki – a man, his tribe and their lake, http://annehunt.co.nz; 2017. 275pp. ISBN 978-0-473-40314-0 (PDF)

This is journalist Anne Hunt’s fourth non-fiction book and first e-book. “Man of Convictions” is referred to as “first published” and “V1.11” because Hunt will update the content with new information when it’s available. The author states she, “makes no apology for writing this book from the perspective of the Taueki family.” Hunt also makes background information available on her website including court documents and transcripts which supports the book’s content. She also includes information in the book about her own family history and extensive and enduring involvement in assisting Philip Taueki since 2010.

The e-book comprises 24 chapters on Levin resident Philip Taueki’s battles as a kaitiaki of Lake Horowhenua since his return from London in 2004 where he was working as an accountant “…for some time living in the prestigious neighbourhood of WC1 London where members of the Royal Family reside.”

But this isn’t a book about his impressive academic and professional achievements it is a book about how ugly everything can get when there is a lot at stake. Hunt describes in meticulous and documented detail about Taueki’s battles as kaitiaki and the cost he has personally paid including being shot at, assaulted, arrested, thrown in jail; his car was destroyed beyond repair, his home by the lake was sledgehammered until only a shell remained, his much loved dogs were traumatised and he says he was “drugged against my will and without my knowledge.” For the last nine months he has been left with no water supply to his residence after Horowhenua District Council illegally turned it off and he will face a retrial on a charge of trespssing on his own land in January 2018 even though he has been aquitted twice of the same charge in previous court cases.

The opening chapter traverses the history of MuaUpoko and Philip’s whakapapa to “an ariki by the name of Taueki, the renowned paramount chief” who signed “the Treaty of Waitangi” before launching in chapter after gruelling chapter of his numerous arrests, court cases and the role third parties have played including state and government organisations. The, no doubt, long fought for establishment approval he achieved in London stands in stark contrast to the scorn, ridicule and material deprivation he has experienced since returning to the community where he was born and raised. Many people in his home town of Levin refer to renowned paramount chief Taueki’s great great grandson Philip Taueki as “the Mad Maori who lived down by the lake.”

The book presents a disturbing picture of what people in positions of power and authority are prepared to do to maintain control over Lake Horowhenua even if it means lying under oath. At one court trial Judge Harvey asked former Horowhenua District Council mayor Brendan Duffy whether two buildings formerly tenanted by the yachting and rowing clubs had toilets and Mr Duffy answered “correct” even though, “On inspection they confirmed there were no toilets to be found.” Hunt has included quotes from court transcripts at every point in the book where the facts are likely to be disputed. What Mr Duffy said in court on oath is just one such example of her attention to detail. The behaviour of the local police also leaves a lot to be desired. One of many such instances is described when,”Constable Lionel Currie had certainly not picked a good time to claim he had served this trespass notice on Phil down at the lake. At that precise time, a whole team of councillors and candidates were erecting election hoardings in Levin, all prepared to testify that Phil was with us, hard at work digging holes in the stony ground.”

I would have liked to see Lake Horowhenua ownership information included as a separate paragraph in its own right because who the legal owners of Lake Horowhenua are is the crux of the issue Hunt writes about. Instead some of this important information is buried in other references. We know the lake is privately owned because Hunt writes, “A British certificate of title for the lake partition had been issued on 19 March 1899” but annoyingly doesn’t say who it was issued to except that “Mua-Upoko’s vast ancestral estate had therefore shrivelled from 52,000 acres in the whole Horowhenua Block to little more than a lake and some sandy acres along the shoreline.”

Also I would have liked to see mentioned in the book that of the 43 charges laid by Levin police against Phil Taueki 33 have been quashed, dropped or he was found not guilty of. That fact alone suggests something else apart from maintaining law and order was motivating the local police force.

That aside this e-book is essential reading for everyone who lives in Horowhenua, especially Levin, and those interested in reading about history, police injustices, legal cases and precedents, Maori, European/colonial world views and the long and convoluted history of the fight for control over Lake Horowhenua not least because it challenges long held assumptions. Horowhenua District Council officers, elected officials, journalists and media should also read this book.

The e-book is written in a straight-forward and easy to read style and the layout is easy to navigate. At the end of each chapter are notes which include a glossary of terms, names of relevant people, Maori to English translation of certain words, maps and points of interest that help to provide context and understanding. The way the information has been presented makes the timeline of events easy to follow which is important because there were so many arrests, so many charges, so many court cases against Philip Taueki which is why the book is called “Man of Convictions” available for free download at http://annehunt.co.nz/#

NOTE: for further articles by Veronica use the search box.

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 on Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.

 

Horowhenua’s pensioner flats have been sold, and yes they did consult tenants … over a nice free lunch

Amidst public outcry from the gallery at HDC’s pre, public-allowed portion of the meeting, the decision was made for the sale of the flats. Read details in the article attached. These flats have been the subject of much controversy as like dominoes the Horowhenua DC follows many other districts who have sold (out). More evidence of the great divide as we drift (or is it slide rapidly?) from a caring benevolent society to one that considers the profit motive only. We’re told often that these sales are to pay down debt yet read the rationale behind debt in the LG article below. They justify debt as being perfectly normal. The new norm. Same rationale the government/corporation use for selling the state housing yet the HC was running at a profit!

And the ‘consultation’ with tenants for the sale of these flats took place over a Council-purchased dinner for heaven’s sakes. Does that not tell you something? And I’ve been told by one outspoken tenant he was shut down very quickly when he voiced any dissent over the sale. Consultation by Councils are a sham, period. Go to this link and see for yourself what their definition of consultation actually is. It is not taken from the Webster’s nor any other dictionary in case you didn’t realize this. This is from the LG magazine written in quite a humourous tone so you’d be forgiven for thinking they are taking the proverbial pee. You can read the entire article at this link.

Copy of consult 4.png

So you can see why people are banging their heads on brick walls. Does it occur to you to ask, why have Council or the LG folk not come forward and explained this difference of meaning to the public? Seems logical doesn’t it? Yet they seem to prefer to keep us in the dark or banging our heads, all for the want of a simple explanation. We dutifully turn up at their sham consultation meetings thinking they are taking our opinions into account. May as well stay home by the fire and save your energy.

Anyway, read what happened over the secret squirrel meeting HDC then proceeded to after the public outcry and the hamstrung Mayor tried and failed to stall the sale. The majority in Council love secret squirrel meetings, they don’t want the public to know what’s really going on. Same as they won’t open the books as was requested long ago. It gets easier to see why a Mayor who is pushing for transparency & public involvement is being ostracized. He is the complete antithesis of what has been going on there. By the way, if you haven’t already, check out our Local Govt Watch pages at the menu. You’ll be surprized. NZ’s become very corrupt as also have our DCs. This is on account of Agenda 21/2030, the UN plan for ‘sustainable’ development that is everything but sustainable. Check out those pages as well if you want to understand what is behind all of this change in tack.
EnvirowatchRangitikei


Watch NZH Local Focus: Sold! Horowhenua’s pensioner housing gone

There was anger in the public gallery as Horowhenua District Council voted to sell off 115 pensioner houses across Levin and Foxton.

Nine Councillors ignored the Mayor’s motion to stall the sale process.

He wanted the Finance and Risk Committee look at the sale and for councillors to get a briefing on it.

“This has just gone straight to in committee, with only one councillor involved in the evaluation of the whole proposal, in terms of those that put in expressions of interest. Remember council voted me out of that committee because I had a conflict of interest Because I’ve been vocal in my manifesto to get elected, I had said I wanted to retain pensioner housing,” says Mayor of Horowhenua Michael Feyen.

READ MORE

Horowhenua residents ‘stonewalled’ by council in battle to keep pensioner housing

Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen wants more public consultation before council-owned pensioner housing is potentially sold off.

Horowhenua residents feel “stonewalled” by their council after the planned sale of pensioner housing was discussed behind closed doors.

The Horowhenua District Council was on Tuesday evening considering an evaluation panel’s recommendation over the potential transfer of 115 council-owned pensioner flats in Levin and Foxton, as well as 1 hectare of residential development land in Levin.

Councillors debated their options behind closed doors and some residents, as well as mayor Michael Feyen, were not happy.

READ MORE

http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/92899408/horowhenua-residents-stonewalled-by-council-in-battle-to-keep-pensioner-housing

Why one Horowhenua District Councillor DOESN’T want the public present at Council meetings

If the H.D.C. was HONEST, UP-FRONT & RUN WITH “INTEGRITY”, there would simply be NO “REASON” to have to “vote” to have “the books” sealed, the building “consent” hidden, or anything else!

On Wednesday 26th April 2017, I heard a Councilor “plead his excuse” for why he doesn’t like the “Public” to be present at Council Meetings (you can listen to the live stream at HDC’s Facebook page).
“We open ourselves to litigation and law-suits, which will (in the end) be paid for by the Rate-payer”….

NOT if you’re HONEST, UP-FRONT & RUN WITH “INTEGRITY”!

In general, only “criminals” have need to have a genuine fear of the Police, and THAT Councilor who made the statement should know THAT better than most others who were present that night!

Michael Feyen is STILL the “people’s elect”; and it was because the constituents were tired of the Duffy “regime” that he was voted in.
The present “NINE” Councilors don’t realize the damage they are doing to their chance of ever being elected again, and that their future in Council is being carefully scrutinized by “Johnny Tucker-box” on the street!

Honesty WILL PREVAIL in the end, and ALL WILL BE REVEALED; it just takes time …. Meantime, Michael Feyen’s “popularity” on the street is INCREASING, as the “agendas” and behaviors of others is making them look less desirable in the Public Eye…. The people are becoming INTERESTED AGAIN – & THAT’S GOOD!

William McGregor


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On the topic from the NZ Herald (includes video)

Horowhenua council divided

Most Mayors get a welcome at their first council meeting.

But the controversial mayor of Horowhenua Michael Feyen says he’s been met only with hostility.

“I had on that first meeting three notices of motion, that were put in, to not open the books, to not relitigate whether we sell the pensioner housing and to not relook at the building. Now they were all platforms that I stood that people want to be looked at and so they all voted 9-2 in favour and yet three of those councillors as I said at the public meeting so it’s nothing new, I wondered how they could vote on such matters when we had never even had council briefings, we had never had anything,” says Mr Feyen.

The nine councillors who voted against Mayor Feyen say they are adamant they will support him, when his ideas are worth supporting.

READ MORE:

http://m.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/horowhenua-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503788&objectid=11841253

(Apologies for Herald’s grammar, they may need a new proofreader perhaps?)


So as we’ve reported before, Council doesn’t want the books opened (what are they hiding?) Now the public isn’t welcome (according to one Councilor at least). Openness and honesty are two things the current new Mayor emphasized in his campaign. No wonder the old regime want him out. (They do, in case you hadn’t heard there’s a petition going around to oust the people’s choice).  As William McGregor’s saying here, “if the H.D.C. was HONEST, UP-FRONT & RUN WITH “INTEGRITY”, there would simply be NO “REASON” to have to “vote” to have “the books” sealed, the building “consent” hidden, or anything else!” I wholeheartedly agree.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

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.

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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?

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