Tag Archives: Levin

Horowhenua DC’s apparent conflicts of interest

Horowhenua investigative journalist Veronica Harrod has been looking at apparent conflicts of interest within the Horowhenua District Council. At this link (from the website of the Office of the Auditor General) you will see the clear rules and guidelines around declaring conflicts of interest when representing your local Council. In brief:

“Under the Act, you cannot:

  • enter into contracts with your local authority worth more than $25,000 in a financial year; or
  • discuss or vote on matters before your authority in which you have a direct or indirect pecuniary interest, other than an interest in common with the public.”

READ MORE AT THE LINK.

Read Veronica’s article posted at her Facebook page:

15 January, 2020

New Levin Ward councillor Todd Isaacs already has a conflict of interest

Two councillors have a major financial stake in commercial property earmarked in the Levin Town Centre Strategy for development by Horowhenua District Council.

Fourth term councillor Wayne Bishop and new Levin Ward councillor Todd Isaacs are both directors and shareholders of property investment company Write Properties Ltd.

The 3032 square property, on the corner of Oxford Street and Queen Street West, purchased by Write Properties Ltd on 28 November 2014, is within an area referred to as, “a key east-west movement corridor” and “a new consolidated east-west town core” in the strategy adopted by the previous Council in November 2018.

Purchased for $900,000 five years ago the property now has a rateable value of $2.08 million.

Despite several references in the Levin Town Centre Strategy to developing new activities on the west side of town, where the property is, the Council minutes show that Cr Bishop did not declare a financial conflict of interest or remove himself from discussing or voting in favour of the Levin town strategy.

Office of the Auditor General advice says, “The Local Authorities (Members’ Interest) Act helps protect the integrity of local authority decision-making by ensuring that people are not affected by personal motives when they participate in local authority decision-making.”

New Levin Ward councillor Todd Isaacs said he didn’t tell voters in the October 2019 local body elections he has a financial interest in a major property earmarked for development by the Council because he, “didn’t have to.”

Whether the owners of the Queen Street West property will benefit from, “Opportunities for new activities and businesses to cluster around a transport hub located in the centre of town”, or whether the intention is to develop the Queen Street West site as the Horowhenua Integrated Transport Hub is not known at this stage.

Write Properties Ltd also owns a 1013 m2 property in the industrial sector of Levin at 33 Hokio Beach Road valued at $335,000 in 2016.

The other three shareholders of Write Properties Ltd are Corey Kennett, Justin Rangi and Callum Dunsmore.

New Horowhenua mayor Bernie Wanden also has a financial conflict of interest because he owns a business in Levin’s town centre, with his wife Sharon Wanden, that is built on land the Council sold to mayor Wanden’s wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law for a firesale price in a controversial sale one month before the local body elections last year.

The land had a rateable value of $295,000 when it was sold to mayor Wanden’s wife and her relations for $230,000.

This represents a 28 percent discount. At the time of the sale the public were told by the Council the discount was only 15 percent.

The Council is contracting the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust to undertake all the extensive – and yet to be funded – land and property development projects included in the Levin Town Centre Strategy and the Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040.

todd isaacs

Photo of Queen Street West property in Levin Town Centre Strategy

INFO FOR COUNCILORS: https://oag.govt.nz/good-practice/conflicts-of-interest/for-councillors?fbclid=IwAR0uX9hr-YFVUJZ0oAu3vKvlZwwIlS047AzBCz9Vj1R72H49Cfbxba5-A4o

__________________________________________________________________________________

21 January

New Levin Ward councillor Todd Isaacs is refusing to provide evidence he had election campaign flyers printed by Levin digital printer The Old Foundry.

Cr Isaacs stated on his signed Return of Electoral Donations and Expenses form that he paid $1174.73 to The Old Foundry for flyers and signs.

But when Horowhenua district councillor Isaacs was asked to produce a copy of the flyer he said he didn’t have any because, “I only did 2000 and they were all delivered.”

He did not respond to a request for information about where his flyers were delivered.

The final election results published by the electoral officer Warwick Lampp
on 16 October said Cr Isaacs received 1718 votes.

Local Levin man Ian Tate was appointed deputy electoral officer but the 60 year old, who had worked for the Council in a variety of roles for almost 30 years, died suddenly at home on 28 August.

Despite the Local Electoral Act 2001 stating candidates “must” take all reasonable steps to keep records of all candidate election expenses, Cr Isaacs has remained silent to a request for any evidence he had the campaign material printed.

The Act also says candidates, “must keep invoices and receipts for all election expenses of $50 or more for three years after returns are filed.”

When The Old Foundry owner Rex Vizible was phoned to confirm Cr Isaacs had spent “$1700 odd dollars for flyers and signs for Cr Isaacs” he said, “Yep, I can” even though Cr Isaacs had spent $1174 and not $1700.

Mr Vizible, also known as music producer Brett Stephen Taylor, was convicted and jailed for sexually assaulting a 29 year old male friend in an alcohol fuelled attack on 18 July, 2006.

The victim was quoted in a Stuff news article saying, “People really do need to know who this guy is…for the safety of the community as well.”

Deputy mayor Jo Mason also paid Mr Vizible’s business $1451.42 for campaign material.

Ratepayer funds have also been paid to Mr Vizible’s business by the Council and Foxton Community Board for The Foxton Godwits installation.

The Old Foundry website also includes glowing testimonials from Canvasland Ltd, Crowe Construction and Associates Ltd, the internationally known Swazi Apparel and Cr Piri-Hira Tukapua.

But Cr Piri-Hira Tukapua did not avail herself of Mr Vizible’s services at the last election.

Since enquiries for this news story began The Old Foundry has been busy deleting information from its website on 20 and 21 January including removing the names of other recommendations from real estate agent PGA Wrightson and Repco.

A photo of a large banner advertising The Old Foundry in Levin was also removed.

The advertising banner was erected above the 3032 square property, on the corner of Oxford Street and Queen Street West, owned by Write Properties Ltd.

Cr Isaacs and Cr Wayne Bishop are directors and shareholders of Write Properties Ltd.

 

The Horowhenua DC is seeking a 35 yr resource consent to continue discharging all of Levin’s treated waste water and other contaminants onto ecologically and culturally important coastal sand dunes

Surprized at this headline? It was discovered in 2018 that HDC’s CE David Clapperton had made a secret pay out of close to a million dollars to a local iwi on the proviso they withdrew their objection to another consent to do with discharge of treated waste water. If you check out our LG Watch pages (main menu) and Horowhenua you will read further interesting detail about pollution and the HDC. See this article in particular at this link (info from a former HDC councilor).

The article below here is from investigative journalist Veronica Harrod who has been shining a spotlight on many anomalies in the Horowhenua. EWR

The Pot thickens

3 February 2020

Horowhenua District Council is seeking a 35 year resource consent to continue discharging all of Levin’s treated waste water and other contaminants onto ecologically and culturally important coastal sand dunes four kilometres west of Levin.

In its application to regional council Manawatu Whanganui Regional Council the local council admits it didn’t do any, “direct consultation on the consent (and resulting effects of the activity)” during consultations on the Council’s 2018-2038 Long Term Plan.

The long term plan states, “For the first time, Council has created a 20 year Long Term Plan. We did this because our population is growing faster than it has for nearly a quarter of a century and this growth is expected to continue for the next 20 years.”

To accommodate, “future population and business growth” the Council wants to add another 20 hectares to the 40.5 hectares of The Pot that has been receiving treated waste water and other contaminants for the last 27 years.

The Pot is 110 hectares in total. Treated waste water and other contaminants are contained in a 7 hectare unlined “pond” prior to being sprayed over land.

Although stating, “It is envisaged that other properties can follow a similar procedure to receive wastewater for irrigation” in a discussion on alternative sites the Council admits it is already “a challenge” to obtain resource consents for irrigation to “other properties” during the summer months.

The Council’s applications also states, “The quality of the treated wastewater is well suited to land discharges and the land discharges are not causing more than minor adverse effects, so there is no driver for” upgrades at this stage.

However the Council’s Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, “assumes that Levin will be a key focus area of growth in the future”, and over 570 hectares has been identified for housing.

On 17 August 2018 the Council announced in a press release that a Master Plan for 278 hectares was being created for a 2000 house sub-division east of Levin called Gladstone Green.

“Built over 20 years, it will eventually be home to 5000 people,” the Council press release said.

But the 2000 housing sub-division has become a 2500 housing sub-division in less than five months after mayor Bernie Wanden said the Government’s recently announced construction of the Otaki to North Levin expressway provided certainty for, “a proposal for 2500 homes in south east Levin.”

“We can expect more families to move here in search of a fantastic lifestyle,” he said.

Also, changes to the District Plan in September 2018 mean residential properties in Levin between 500 and 900 square metres can now be sub-divided to a minimum size of 250 square metres.

The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 policy on discharge of contaminants states: “Do not allow [the] discharge of treated human sewage to water in the coastal environment unless there has been adequate consideration of alternative methods, sites and routes for undertaking the discharge.”

The Council states its application, “relies on two discharge consents to operate which were granted by HRC [the regional council] in 1998.”

Next: What the community says in response to the Council’s resource consent application.

 

 

When are NZ authorities going to take toxic 1080 bait storage seriously?

WHEN IS NEW ZEALAND GOING TO TAKE TOXIC 1080 BAIT STORAGE SERIOUSLY?

By Carol Sawyer

With the recent revelations that a 1080 storage shed at Haast, South Westland, was invaded by floodwaters last month, it is surely well past time to look at this lax situation.

LEVIN, HOROWHENUA :

In Levin, in January, 2018, a building owned by the Horizons Regional Council, and used for 1080 bait storage, caught fire :

“Controversial pest control poison 1080 was stored in a Levin depot that was burgled and torched last week.

The fire tore through the Horizons Regional Council depot on Thursday night, destroying equipment and melting vehicles.”

Horizons Regional Council chief executive, Michael McCartney said “…all run-off associated with putting out the fire was contained onsite and there are no environmental or health concerns”!!!!

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm…

Yet the attached letter from Orillion, the NZ government-owned factory in Whanganui that manufactures 1080 baits, states clearly:

“The burning of products containing even low concentrations of sodium fluoroacetate (1080) may release toxic hydrogen fluoride gas of sufficiently high concentration to cause a danger to humans in the vicinity”.

4. ORILLION

See more here : https://www.facebook.com/…/a.245562502295…/845013939016569/…

WHITIANGA, COROMANDEL PENINSULA:

In Whitianga, in 2017, 23.7 tonnes of 1080 baits were stored by the Dept of Conservation at the back of the ‘Liquor King Building’ for 4 1/2 months. pending an aerial 1080 operation in the area. Locals were later informed that the district Fire Chief had been unaware of this. The Thames-Coromandel District Council was also reportedly unaware. The building was surrounded by two supermarkets and next door to a “Placemakers” store. Residential housing was just metres away, over the fence. On the evening of loading up, ( October 17, 2017 ), the air was thick with dust, which would have landed all over people’s lawns and vegetable gardens. The residents were not informed about what was going on.

BLENHEIM, MARLBOROUGH:

At Tua Marina, near Blenheim, up to 200 tonnes of 1080 poison baits are allowed to be stored at any one time at 121 Thomas Road, at Impact Storage Ltd ( appropriate name!), just a few kilometres from the local primary school and beside the Wairau River.
NB: 200 tonnes of 1080 baits contain enough pure 1080 to kill 4 million x 70 kg human beings and make another 4 million very ill indeed!

See more here : http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/concerns-about-storag…/…

and a dog’s death:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1705377442922345&set=a.794314170695348&type=3&theater

TE ANAU, FIORDLAND:

An old laundry building in Te Anau, 52 Caswell Road, is reportedly used for storing 1080 poison baits before aerial 1080 operations in Fiordland.

JJ Nolan’s Transport Ltd, of Haast has been seen unloading 1080 baits there. The building is at the entrance to Northern Southland Transport’s depot. Northern Southland Transport Ltd deliver 1080 baits to aerial 1080 operations.

I was told “DoC have a lease on the old launderette building in Caswell St. They have stored 1080 in the past. ‘Fiordland Jet’ rent it from DoC when it is not needed.”

On the other side of the building, at 48 Caswell Road is “Safer Parking” !!!

PORT NELSON:

Port Nelson, 45 Vickerman Street, Nelson.

‘JJ Nolan Transport Ltd’ again … unloading 1080 poison baits at Port Nelson, 24 September, 2014. Filmed by Glen Tomlinson :

https://www.facebook.com/glen.j.tomlin…/…/10205071659175912/

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Nelson Mail report, 26 September, 2014, here :

http://www.stuff.co.nz/…/10…/Fears-raised-over-1080-storage…

“DoC spokeswoman Trish Grant said there were 73 tonnes of non-toxic bait and 150 tonnes of toxic bait in storage in the port industrial area.”!

150 tonnes of 1080 baits contain enough pure 1080 poison ( at 0.15% ) to kill over 3 million people, and make another 3 million seriously ill.
(LD50 is 0.5 – 2 mg per kg bodyweight)

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

Merrick Allan’s eyewitness report on a ‘Solly’s’ freight truck being loaded at lunchtime, 13th October, 2014.

(It is important to note here that Sollys Freight has REFUSED to transport 1080 baits since 2014 ! The big drops in 2016 and 2017 for Kahurangi were carted by T Croft Ltd of Greymouth.)  :

  • “the ‘Anchor Bar and Grill Restaurant’ entrance is only 50 metres away from the loading site.
  • no barriers or notices, no health warnings, and loading and unloading being done with trucks no more than 10 metres from the public footpath.
  • no barriers, the gates were open
  • no police, anyone could just have wandered on in
  • the truck did have a toxic sign on front
  • the bags clearly stated on pallet wrap 1080 toxic
  • the loader-driver was wearing overalls only
  • stench of cinnamon drifting out on to the road

a DoC worker came out and asked what we were up to, as we had taken photos.
I commented that the practice was despicable, storing 1080 50 metres from a restaraunt/bar and loading it at lunch time. I was told by the female DoC worker, “It’s wrapped and sealed” i commented that must be why I can smell cinnamon, and poison…
I also asked “What is the antidote for 1080 ?” She replied “Water”!”

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

And so it goes on… a disaster just waiting to happen. Or maybe it already has !!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SLIDE SHOW PHOTOS:

1. Horizons Regional Council Building, Levin. Fire tore through here in January,2018. 1080 baits were stored here. Photo NZ Herald – article here :https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=11980969&ref=twitter&fbclid=IwAR1N0gkJdU52BuOgBgAQZHCrSsB126M7bYZrC-AMtQSmtrBzVYqlPLejywI

2. WHITIANGA: The Liquor King Building. 20 Joan Gaskell Drive, in Whitianga’s CBD, where 23.7 tonnes of 1080 baits were stored for months pending an aerial 1080 operation in October, 2017..

3. Coromandel Peninsula : The Liquor King Building. 20 Joan Gaskell Drive, in Whitianga’s CBD, where 23.7 tonnes of 1080 baits were stored in the back for 4.5 months pending an aerial 1080 operation in October, 2017..

4. ORILLION DOCUMENT

5. 1080 bait storage shed belonging to JJ Nolan Transport Ltd, Okuru, Haast, South Westland, in a flood prone area. This shed is approximately 1,100 cu m, according to Richard Healey’s calculations, so can potentially hold hundreds of tonnes of 1080 baits. Photo – Joel Lund

6. OKURU, HAAST, SOUTH WESTLAND: 1080 bait storage shed belonging to JJ Nolan Transport Ltd, affected by floodwaters, March, 2019 – Okuru, Haast, South Westland

7. TUA MARINA, BLENHEIM: 1080 bait storage ( up to 200 tonnes at any one time ) at 121 Thomas Road, Tua Marina, Blenheim. Note proximity of Wairau River. The local primary school is just 3.2 kms away by road.

8. TE ANAU, Firodland – The old laundry building where 1080 poison baits are reportedly stored is 50 Caswell Road, Te Anau, ( with the red roof ). 52 Caswell Road is the Northern Southland Transport truck depot ( you can see the trucks moving around with their familiar brown and cream signature colours.) On the other side, at 48 Caswell Road is “Safer Parking”.

9. The old laundry building in Te Anau where 1080 poison baits are reportedly stored before aerial 1080 operations in Fiordland. When not being used for 1080 storage, DoC have dit out to Fiordland Jet

10. TE ANAU: “Safer Parking”, situated next door to the old laundry building that is reportedly used to store 1080 baits before aerial 1080 operations in Fiordland.

11. TE ANAU : The entrance to Northern Southland Transport Ltd’s yard, beside the old laundry building which is reportedly used to store 1080 baits before aerial 1080 operations

12. The old laundry building in Te Anau ( red roof ) where 1080 poison baits are reportedly stored before aerial 1080 operations in Fiordland. When not being used for 1080 storage, DoC have dit out to Fiordland Jet

13. PORT NELSON
A ‘Sollys’ truck being loaded with 1080 poison baits , 24 September, 2014, at AS Fiskevegn House, a blue-and-white warehouse over the road from the Anchor Restaurant. Photo – Merrick Allan. (NB: Sollys Transport have REFUSED to transport 1080 poison baits since 2014. The he big drops in 2016 and 2017 for Kahurangi were carted by T Croft Ltd.of Greymouth )

 

Horowhenua Mayor supports alternatives to 1080 (recent protest in Levin)

Note: if you find this video is not playing for you, please let me know. I’ve had someone say it isn’t already, however it is playing for me. Be keen to hear more feedback. May do an alternative upload, going by the recent hacks of videos.

Mayor of the Horowhenua Michael Feyen has expressed these sentiments previously as the Hikoi of a Poisoned Nation came through the Horowhenua last September. His own personal emphasis is on alternatives, namely trapping, as opposed to the extensive use of poisons.

Thanks to the people who protested, providing sensible information to the public so they can make INFORMED decisions about the effectiveness of 1080 regarding the conservation of our environment & wildlife.

Horowhenua DC does not deem it necessary to consult the public on the sale of Levin’s Focal Point Cinema

From Veronica Harrod

Focal Point Cinema to be sold to Horowhenua New Zealand Trust?

Horowhenua residents were told they would be consulted before public assets were sold or transferred to Horowhenua New Zealand Trust but that now looks unlikely.

The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust (HNZT) – a charitable trust – will take over responsibility for economic development from the Economic Development Board and plans to be involved in a number of projects including land and property development of public assets transferred or sold to the Trust as seed capital.

On 8 November last year chief executive David Clapperton said in a Council press release, “We will soon consult with the community about what property Council should retain. We also need to make sure the community understands that managing this property could include selling it if that is in the best interests of the community.”

Now he says, “The sale or assignment of property assets will not be…requiring community consultation unless the asset in question is deemed a strategic asset, involves an activity that will significantly affect capacity or cost to Council, or is a change to the Long Term Plan.”

“An asset, such as Focal Point Cinema, would not be deemed significant and would therefore not be consulted on should there be a proposal to sell or assign this building,” he said.

However, Council’s significance and engagement policy also states, “Matters…may have a high degree of significance where it is known that the decision will nevertheless generate a high degree of controversy. Council will make judgements on the level of support for those views when determining the significance of a decision.”

Furthermore no consultation will be required for the sale or transfer of 14 public assets in Levin and surrounding area, Foxton, Foxton Beach, Shannon and Depot House on Hokio Beach Road because Council voted to sell them in 2009 at a 5 August Council meeting.

Council’s property strategy states Council assets include 550 properties with a total rateable value, including land and buildings, of approximately $101 million as at 2014 including $28 million of non-core properties.

The strategy also states, “It is also important to understand that a classification of non-core does not automatically mean that the relevant property/facility should or can be disposed of as a range of other factors come into play.”

Non-core property includes commercial buildings and land, endowment property, forestry, motor camps, rental houses, rural leases and a “subdivision” category.

Under the Local Government Act if, “an asset has been unlawfully sold or otherwise disposed of by the local authority; or a liability has been unlawfully incurred by the local authority” the Auditor General may make recommendations to recover the loss or prevent further losses.

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/

“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.

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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?

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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

 

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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Foxton drinking water

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

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

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

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

EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

 

The Horowhenua DC’s Economic Development Committee that Looks Not Unlike Insider Trading

“These business associates of the Mayor actually came to our table at Council the other night and addressed us and advised us to vote for the policies that would benefit them!”   Cr Ross Campbell

Last July it was brought to our attention by the currently-being-rolled Deputy Mayor (then) Councilor Ross Campbell, that a certain group within the HDC called the Economic Development Committee, was actually functioning in an advisory capacity to the district’s ELECTED representatives, the HDC Councilors. That economic group is comprised of:

EIGHT NON-ELECTED members of the business community … developers, retailers, manufacturers, contractors… and TWO ELECTED COUNCILORS, who in turn are advising ELECTED COUNCILORS how they should vote. 

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The Economic Development Committee is privy to information that the public isn’t

These people are privy to information that the public isn’t. Now this is not right, to have information that puts you at an advantage over your competitors. This Councilor is about to be ousted from his position as Deputy because the Council doesn’t want him in that position. They have not given a reason why. Is this why?

Bear in mind also, this is the same Councilor who has constantly cautioned the Council about its fiscal mismanagement … Council is currently $100 million in debt. The (previous) Council has argued it’s $68 million however, why is that figure even acceptable? Why would even ONE million be acceptable? How is it a CE on a $250K salary, can allow a small town Council to sink into such obscene debt?

Listen carefully to what Cr Ross Campbell says. Read the transcript if you are unable to watch it. He has brought important information to the attention of you the voters.


If you cannot play this video, here is the transcript for you to read:

“My name is Ross Campbell and as most of you know I’m the District Councilor for the Miranui Ward which takes in Tokomaru & Shannon, Opiki, Akarua, Buckley & Mangaore and this lovely part of the district of Miranui.
I’ve got a few things that concern me when I’m in Council. One of them is these … we get a lot of information at Council … we get information from the NZTA you know, that’s the roading people; we get Government departments telling us all sorts of statistics and things, what they are likely to do and what they want to do. We get a lot of information from statistics of course, we get market trends, we get inquiries from overseas investments … we get information from Regional Councils, Health Boards and so it goes on … there’s a lot of information coming in. This information is meant to be used in briefings to councillors, to help them in their decisions, planning the district, and which way we want to go, if we want to go forward or we want to go sideways or whatever the case might be, and so we use this information to help us make decisions.

But this concern is something that I want to bring to you … it’s not always the case. Our mayor … some of you might not know this ,.. our mayor has formed a group of his closest business associates. They’re the people who he mixes with. And together with these
associates there are developers, there are retailers, there are manufacturers, contractors, who have been selected by him. They’ve formed themselves into what we call an Economic Development Committee. That’s what the Council calls it. You see all the information that we receive is passed on to this committee who are not elected people … they’ve not been elected to be there by you, who may be arguably your closest competitor in your business, and these people all get an unfair advantage over their closest rivals, and that rival could be you. Because of all this information coming in, they know where the trends are, they know the direction the council’s thinking. They are privy to information that gives them an advantage over others, especially at this time when we councillors are told often to be quiet about the different possibilities that may happen.

These business associates of the Mayor actually came to our table at Council the other night and addressed us and advised us to vote for the policies that would benefit them!

hands-1319624_1280

This handful of business associates that our Mayor has selected are receiving an advantage over their competitors, and it’s just not right. These folks have not been elected by you. They’ve never sworn allegiance to the district, and are being rewarded for their faithfulness to the Mayor. Go figure. What do you think? Just last week a decision was made to announce to the retailers in Levin as to where the road of national significance was going. But we wouldn’t announce it until February 2017.

As it was told to us by the Mayor we shouldn’t announce it before the election as the Mayor, because of this, could get skinned alive.

So just whose interests are we looking after? Folks, we must get out there and vote, and elect those you trust … not those who are there to furnish the Mayor’s ego and their own business pockets. That is one of my concerns and over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the other concerns I have. They are concerns that I believe you need to know about … that we haven’t got a Council that’s working directly for you … we’ve got a Council that is working for the few.”


NOTE: If you would like to know the names of the seven business people from your community and their activities as part of the Committee, this has been summarized for you in video part one of the HDC meeting streamed on 7 December 2016  (on the HDC Facebook page).


That’s true Kiwi ‘democracy’ for you! Still, the Horowhenua voters who wanted change are not going to take all this lying down. 

There will be a protest against both the selling of the community housing, and the
rolling of the new Deputy Mayor Cr Ross Campbell … outside the HDC building at 126 Oxford Street in Levin on Wednesday 7th December 2016! A peaceful protest … but one that will send a clear message that those who voted for our current Mayor are not happy with what is happening. Please come and bring a placard if you can.

You will find updates or changes at the Facebook page, at the Nua on our own FB pages (links at right of page) and our petition page here (see menu). 

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

 

Please Sign Our Petition to Stop the Sale of Horowhenua’s Community Housing

Stop the Sale of Horowhenua’s Community Housing

Campaign created by
Pam Vernon
EnvirowatchHorowhenua
Stop the Sale of Horowhenua's Community Housing

FROM THE NEW MAYOR, MICHAEL FEYEN who is in support of keeping our housing stock:“I support retaining community housing and obtaining the housing nz stock as well. HDC, iwi And Grey Power could form a trust or lease agreement:) HLC could conduct apprenticeships around building, plumbing, electrician, painters, etc to maintain and upgrade the increased housing stock. Great potential for HDC employment and community, with a business case:) I trust this petition gets support as it is vital for our districts future that we have affordable housing.”   

NOTE: In spite of his support the remainder of the Council is not in agreement on this.


THE PETITION
The Horowhenua District Council is tendering our stock of community housing for sale to an alternative community housing provider. Grey Power however, believes that provision of affordable housing must remain a core activity for central and local government…”The proposal to sell pensioner housing, a key determinant of community wellbeing, is a direct antithesis to community wellbeing”.

We also see the withdrawal of affordable housing for the elderly and disabled as a backward step especially in light of growing homelessness in our country. We believe that in the longer term, an alternative provider will place economic factors above caring for the elderly and therefore request that they halt the tendering of these properties for sale.

Why is this important?

In April this year the Horowhenua District Council announced it was tendering their stock of community housing for sale to an alternative community housing provider.

The justification given by councils NZ wide, including, Horowhenua, to cease providing housing, has been that Government withdrew its responsibility in this respect (including funding) some time back.

HDC insist they’ve identified that “the ‘most sustainable’ way forward for delivering pensioner housing was to transfer the stock and the responsibility to a housing provider that had the focus and resources to respond to the housing needs of the district.” At the same time they say they “… want to ensure that community housing in Horowhenua remains accessible and affordable, and is also connected to services that enhance social connectedness and wellbeing.”

Horowhenua’s Grey Power however, disagrees saying it is their belief that provision of affordable housing must remain a core activity for central and local government. “The proposal to sell pensioner housing, a key determinant of community wellbeing, is a direct antithesis to community wellbeing” they say, and “a council is in a position to see issues across its district and should have concerns about its constituency … a social housing provider will not have the same view.”

We also see the withdrawal of affordable housing for the elderly and disabled as a backward step. HDC state on their Positive Ageing Action Plan that “Horowhenua is a district that embraces its older residents as a highly valued integral part of the community”. We would like to see that plan include the option of the ongoing provision of affordable housing for the elderly, especially in the light of growing homelessness in our country. Handing over this responsibility to private and corporate interests is not going to guarantee they remain housed. A business will always strive to maximize profits and not to ensure the housing of the more vulnerable. It is simply not in their mandate. We therefore do not believe that any clause of sale that stipulates the needs of the elderly be considered will be effective, and that any such provision would eventually be discarded in favour of economic interests.

In line with their pledge to partnership, HDC have said that iwi and current tenants were consulted. Public feedback however is not confirming this. We would like to see some transparency on this pre sale history.

If you agree that the provision of community housing should remain a part of Council’s responsibility please sign our petition.

(1) Horowhenua District Council agrees to put pensioner housing on the market <http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/78903531/Horowhenua-District-Council-agrees-to-put-pensioner-housing-on-the-market>

(2) Iwi consulted on Horowhenua housing sell off
http://www.waateanews.com/Waatea+News.html?story_id=MTQxNTY=&v=173

(3) ‘Keep Council Houses’ <http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/keep-council-houses/>

(4) Government open to social housing options
<https://national.org.nz/news/2016-05-27-government-open-to-social-housing-options>

(5) Government, council seek interest from community housing providers in Horowhenua <https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/government-council-seek-interest-community-housing-providers-horowhenua-b-191828>

(6) Proposed social and affordable housing transfer in Horowhenua and Otaki <http://www.treasury.govt.nz/statesector/socialhousing/horowhenua-otaki-sht>

(7) Mayor Feyen wants to keep pensioner homes as income source
http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/86036270/mayor-feyen-wants-to-keep-pensioner-homes-as-income-source>


GO HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION

PLEASE SHARE!

NOTE:
There will be a protest against the selling of the community housing, and the rolling of the new Deputy Mayor Cr Ross Campbell … outside the HDC building at 126 Oxford Street in Levin on Wednesday 7th December! A peaceful protest … but one that will send a clear message that those who voted for our current Mayor are not happy with what is happening. Please come and bring a placard if you can.

You will find updates or changes at the Facebook page, at the Nua , on our own FB pages and our petition page here. 


 

Horowhenua Mayor Has Instructed Councilors to Endorse a 100 Page Financial Report They Won’t Get to Read

This is familiar territory when it comes to the Horowhenua District Council. Earlier this year we had other whistle blowers telling us they were told how to vote. And here we have a further example. Would you purchase a house or business without reading ALL the financial & other reports relating to that purchase? Would you run a business (which is what our District Councils are … companies) without fully reading all the financial reports? Well, that is what the recipient of your rates folks is expecting you (your representatives, ie the said councilors) to do! Watch this space especially on October 5th!

Here is Cr Ross Campbell’s latest revelation:

“Yesterday all Councillors were asked to come to a Briefing regarding our “Financial Report” It started at 4.45pm and finished at approx 5 15pm. The Report we were told is, 100 pages long and we would not be given a hardcopy to look at but we were shown a selection of pieces from the report (about 6 pages) on a overhead screen, with a commentary from the Financial Manager.
The reason we would not receive a full copy to analyse was that it was 100+ pages. What is going on? Then the Mayor instructed us by saying that he expected us all to endorse this report at the next Council meeting on the 5th Oct which is the last one before the elections.What is going on here?
I have not seen this Report in its entirety and I am sure as ever not going to endorse it without seeing it in full.We the Councillors are meant to Govern and the Management are meant to provide ALL the Facts and figures surrounding the Finances to us to enable us to vote with confidence one way or the other.
I will keep you all Posted!!!”

Thank you to Cr Ross Campbell for properly representing us the people and for endeavouring to keep those entrusted with the public purse, transparent and honest. Like a democracy should be.

Check out your Council on Dun and Bradstreet Companies register online (or you can find it for yourself at this link here):

 

hdc on dun and bradstreet.png

 

Check out our Local Govt Watch pages (in the menu at top of page); & follow our Horowhenua FB page for further updates. Visit also our Agenda 21/2030 pages for further info on why our Councils are changing … are no longer democratic.

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

Council corruption – two Horowhenua Councilors concerned that decisions are being co-opted by a select group of non-elected representatives of the business community – close associates of Mayor Duffy

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

The Horowhenua Dictrict Council’s Ross Campbell, elected representative of the Miranui

ross-campbell-hdc-councillor
Horowhenua District Councilor Ross Campbell: concerned about the co-opting of Council decision making by business interests

Ward, expresses his growing concern about the way things at the HDC are run, in particular, with whom important information is shared and the way decisions are being made.

Horowhenua Mayor Duffy has a select Committee of close business associates – a non-elected, hand picked business group with no sworn allegiance to the district, that tells the elected councilors how to vote. Cr Campbell is not alone in his concern.

michael-feyen-hdc-councillorFellow Councilor Michael Feyen of Foxton confirms what Cr Campbell is saying  … “Take the time to have a listen to Councillor Ross Campbell’s very good summation of what we are up against in this HDC District. If the Horowhenua wants to progress it won’t be under the current regime.” Both Cr Feyen and Cr Campbell speak out regularly about the polluting practices of local government. Cr Campbell was allegedly assaulted in 2004 for his active part in this.

 

2Copy of Anne
Former Councilor Mrs Anne Hunt describes how she and other councilors were coerced to vote ‘correctly’

Readers may also recall former Councilor Mrs Anne Hunt expressed identical concerns earlier this year describing how they were coerced to vote ‘correctly’ using bullying tactics.

Listen to Cr Campbell’s recent announcement from his Facebook page (the following is a transcript):

“My name is Ross Campbell and as most of you know I’m the District Councilor for the Miranui Ward which takes in Tokomaru & Shannon, Opiki, Buckley & Mangaore and this lovely part of the district of Miranui.
I’ve got a few things that concern me when I’m in Council. One of them is these … we get a lot of information at Council … we get information from the NZTA you know, that’s the roading people; we get Government departments telling us all sorts of statistics and things, what they are likely to do and what they want to do. We get a lot of information from statistics of course, we get market trends, we get inquiries from overseas investments … we get information from Regional Councils, Health Boards and so it goes on … there’s a lot of information coming in. This information is meant to be used in briefings to councillors, to help them in their decisions, planning the district, and which way we want to go, if we want to go forward or we want to go sideways or whatever the case might be, and so we use this information to help us make decisions. But this concern is something that I want to bring to you … it’s not always the case.

Our Mayor … some of you might not know this … our Mayor has formed a group of his closest business associates. They’re the people who he mixes with. And together with these associates there are developers, there are retailers, there are manufacturers, contractors, who have been selected by him. They’ve formed themselves into what we call an Economic Development Committee. That’s what the Council calls it but I actually call it an Economic Advantage Committee … over their competitors. You see all the information that we receive is passed on to this committee who are not elected people … they’ve not been elected to be there by you, who may be arguably your closest competitor in your business, and these people all get an unfair advantage over their closest rivals, and that rival could be you.

Because of all this information coming in, they know where the trends are, they know the direction the council’s thinking. They are privy to information that gives them an advantage over others, especially at this time when we councillors are told often to be quiet about the different possibilities that may happen.

These business associates of the Mayor actually came to our table at Council the other night and addressed us and advised us to vote for the policies that would benefit them!

What is that? To me that’s insider trading. I call it that but you may call it something different. But I’m not allowed.

This handful of business associates that our Mayor has selected are receiving an advantage over their competitors, and it’s just not right. These folks have not been elected by you. They’ve never sworn allegiance to the district, and are being rewarded for their faithfulness to the Mayor.

Go figure. What do you think? Just last week a decision was made to announce to the retailers in Levin as to where the road of national significance was going. But we wouldn’t announce it until February 2017. As it was told to us by the Mayor we shouldn’t announce it before the election as the Mayor, because of this, could get skinned alive. So just whose interests are we looking after? Folks, we must get out there and vote, and elect those you trust … not those who are there to furnish the Mayor’s ego and their own business pockets. That is one of my concerns and over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the other concerns I have. They are concerns that I believe you need to know about … that we haven’t got a Council that’s working directly for you … we’ve got a Council that is working for the few.”

SOURCE:https://www.facebook.com/groups/37968…

 

Now, take a look at the mission statement if you like, of the Horowhenua District Council copied straight from their website:


Council’s Responsibilities and Activities

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

Council is made up of the Mayor and 10 Councillors (elected members). They are responsible for determining local policy and legislation, and defining the overall vision for the Horowhenua District. Council makes decisions on behalf of the ratepayers and residents.”

The Mayor’s Role

“The Mayor is elected by the District “as a whole”, and as one of the elected members, shares the same responsibilities as other members of Council.” Some of the Mayor’s roles that relate to Cr Campbell’s concerns [abbreviated] are:

  • Advocate on behalf of the community
  • Provide leadership and feedback to other elected members on teamwork and chairing committees.

Here is a link to the full pdf file Governance Statement 2014 – 2017 A Guide for the Community on Council Processes

Councils nowadays are fine in their rhetoric, or should I say spin?  What they are doing is regularly a very different matter. They should be making decisions DEMOCRATICALLY … on behalf of ratepayers and residents, and not on behalf of the Mayor’s close business associates!!

Horowhenua people, see what is going on in your District governance. Be sure to vote for change this October.  Vote for honesty and transparency.


Please help us expose the corruption and lies by our local governments by sharing this information! 

EnvirowatchHorowhenua

Horowhenua Environmental Health Watch on FB

 

RELATED:

In Spite of their Spin the HDC is not Enabling Democratic Decision Making
Local Govt Watch
Agenda 21/30 in NZ

 

“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”

“HDC is a top drawer polluter. This is not the first time accurate film footage has been taken of wilful contamination of the Manawatu River … I took extensive film footage 14 months ago and was ridiculed at the time”
Cr Michael Feyen

In recent posts we have highlighted the ongoing pollution of Horowhenua’s natural water resources (see posts here and here). Now another Councillor,  Michael Feyen, has backed the claims of Councillor Ross Campbell about the Council’s role in this pollution, and says he made similar video footage to Cr Campbell’s 14 months ago for which he was ridiculed.

“… council’s take on the issue was misleading and full of half-truths”
Cr Michael Feyen

Seventy year old Shannon resident John Andrews, who was with Cr Campbell recently while filming the sewage discharging into Stansell’s Creek, featured in news headlines shortly afterwards when he received a late night bashing by 3 to 4 men. There may or may not have been a connection between the two incidents, however, you can read the article and draw your own conclusions about that. The matter will still of course be under Police investigation.

Cr Feyen has been reported by the Herald as saying: the “council’s take on the Shannon issue was misleading and full of half-truths”.  He himself has posted around 80 other videos on Youtube  (watch these at the link) documenting the deliberate pollution of both Horowhenua and Manawatu waterways with both sewage and farm effluent. (The above video features pollution of the Manawatu).

The people mandated with protecting our environments, our District Councils and Horizons, who all adhere (on paper at least) to the goals of sustainable development, are in fact complicit in polluting them. This is happening both NZ and world wide.

“Two-thirds of more than 160 monitored river swimming spots in New Zealand have been deemed unsafe for a dip”   NZ Herald  30/1/2015

And further food for thought … 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’? 

Stand up people and make these folks accountable. Our clean water is almost gone. Few rivers are clean enough to swim in any more. Your silence is taken as acceptance of the status quo.

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

 

If you agree with this article please like our FB page and share – help us to expose lies and promote truth.

 

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?

“On two occasions Horowhenua District Councillors given a clear message by Mayor Brendan Duffy ‘to toe the line’ and deny any pollution by the HDC” – a former HD Councillor speaks out

“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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Further to our recent article on the Horowhenua District Councillor who alerted the public to the pollution of Shannon’s waterways by allegedly raw sewage, the Horowhenua District Council has served a trespass warrant on their own Cr Ross Campbell. This is the man who filmed the raw evidence (see footage below) of what appears to be equally raw sewage and toilet paper spewing into the Stansell Street creek at Shannon. (I can find no news links to the serving of a warrant – I saw it on Facebook and it has since been removed). Although the District Council is saying the video is a distortion of the facts Cr Campbell says the video speaks for itself and “he’s not changing his stance on the issue”. He had received a number of calls on the day from concerned locals who had seen the sewage discharging into water where children were swimming. A call to Horizons resulted in a post inspection comment that the HDC was abiding by their consent.

“It’s a joke really. This is absolutely shocking … the stench was horrible. This was straight sewage, no treatment, no nothing. It’s putting everyone at risk who uses the stream.”
Cr Ross Campbell

See the toilet paper for yourself. The HDC have claimed it has been put there deliberately by somebody. But what would that somebody have to gain from such actions? Definitely a lot of stress given this outcome, and who ever would pay them for exposing pollution? The claim doesn’t really hold water.

 

Copy of 12734196_1068580989871855_1943581013906074310_n
The trespass notice Horowhenua District Council has served on their own Councillor Ross Campbell

 

Above is a copy of the trespass warrant that was removed from Facebook. (I note other news links from the event are now no longer operative).

So why has the Horowhenua District Council served a trespass warrant on the Councillor who filmed the sewage? If they are so above board then what have they got to hide? Why are they not inviting the public to inspect for themselves and see that everything is good.

And why, as citizens of our ‘clean and green’ paradise, we need to ask, are Councils polluting and not protecting our environments …. according to their stated mantra of ‘sustainable development’?  Consider, 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

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’? 

This kind of carry on is NOT sustainable!

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

 

If you agree with this article please like our FB page and share – help us to expose lies and promote truth.

 

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’

“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”

“On two occasions Horowhenua District Councillors given a clear message by Mayor Brendan Duffy ‘to toe the line’ and deny any pollution by the HDC” – a former HD Councillor speaks out

“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

 

 

 

 

Tribunal hears Lake Horowhenua concerns

The latest on the Waitangi Tribunal Hearings this week for Lake Horowhenua

By Leigh Marama McLachlan

radionz.co.nz

Lake Horowhenua, Levin
Lake Horowhenua, Levin

“The Waitangi Tribunal has spent the past week hearing Muaūpoko iwi members claims to Lake Horowhenua and surrounding lands. It is the first hearing round of three set out for the Porirua ki Manawatu district inquiry.

Muaūpoko descendant Phil Taueki has has made it his mission to return Lake Horowhenua to Māori hands.

He is one of the claimants who finally got the chance to stand up and let the tribunal, and the Crown, know what he has spent years fighting for.

The first thing he wants to stop is Horowhenua District Council pumping storm water from Levin into the lake.

“The second thing that needs to happen is the Levin Wastewater Treatment Plant needs to be relocated, because it periodically discharges and seeps raw sewerage into the lake.”

He said about 5 million cubic centimetres of toxic sediment was in the lake and urgently needed to be removed.

“That’s laying on the bottom of the lake, on top of our ancestors, and it needs to be removed as quickly as possible.”

Read more 


Related

Like being waist deep in a long drop! – Lake Horowhenua Waitangi Tribunal Hearing Continues

Untitled

Manawatu Standard – By NICHOLAS MCBRIDE

“The Waitangi Tribunal was told to imagine being stuck waste deep in a long drop to understand the conditions that Muaupoko iwi ancestors are in at Lake Horowhenua.

The hearing opened at the Horowhenua Events Centre in Levin on Monday, with 22 claims looking at Lake Horowhenua, Hokio Stream and the Horowhenua land block.

On Monday Judge Caren Fox said it would be one of the most profound hearings in the district….

At the second morning of the hearing, Phil Taueki staked his claim for his whanau to be included in the Crown’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Muaupoko Tribal Authority. He also raised a series of issues relating to the pollution of Lake Horowhenua…Taueki estimated hundreds of millions of dollars would be required to clean the lake.

“In his submission, Taueki claimed contaminants from the Levin landfill and wastewater treatment plant were pooled at the Hokio Beach area which then seeped out to the beach.

He said “clouds of brown sewage” were visible in the ocean.

“Because of the tides, all that sewage washes down the coast to Kapiti.”

Taueki said his whanau had always had a presence in the area, compared to other tribes.

“There was one whanau that never left, that was the Taueki whanau… The report by the Crown barely mentions Taueki, which shows how much weight you should put on their research… no-one is going to move me from my land at the lake.”

Read the full article


Comment

A reminder to us all, long term pollution like this eventually catches up with us. Somewhere down the line, the lack of addressing these issues along the way, culminates in crisis. As long as profits take precedence over people and environments this kind of scenario is going to continue. With the TPPA signed now, we can now, unfortunately,  look forward to more of this.

EnvirowatchRangitikei

How our waterways are polluted – Crown concedes it failed to protect Lake Horowhenua

Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ
Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ

An article in the Manawatu Standard reports on a Waitangi Tribunal Hearing that began in Levin today, 5th October 2015

A visit to the Horowhenua district earlier this year led me to discover the shocking history of this lake, in particular, the way the owners, the Muaupoko Iwi have been treated throughout the whole process. (Lake Horowhenua is near Levin). Download and read the whole history of the Lake and how it was incrementally taken over, a long but essential read to understand the background of this story:

“In the beginning.. Not content with the land they lived on, it wasn’t long before the settlers of Levin coveted the lake as well. Lake Horowhenua belongs to Mua-Upoko who had been forced to watch helplessly as ancestral lands, placed in ordinary property titles, disappeared through scurrilous means. A Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry had ferreted out fraudulent activities, not only by those purporting to represent the tribe but by Central Government itself…”       Read more here.

Untitled
The polluted Lake Horowhenua

Stories like this one are not rare in our indigenous histories … they are just generally unreported in mainstream media. It is also the typical scenario where the costs of preventing environmental damage are ignored in favour of short term profits. The lake has seen decades of pollution (1950s-70s) in the form of human sewage that completely polluted both the food sources and the livelihood of Muaupoko and caused many to leave. Then there has been the surrounding farming and agricultural runoff. Muaupoko who have endeavoured to keep the lake clean have been vilified and maligned as being not the true owners. The official history in fact, also borne out by today’s article in the Standard, reveals their ownership has been whittled away from them incrementally by convoluted land laws and processes, and “left with “a mere sliver” of the 50,000 acres it once had”, again typical in our histories. The lake’s kaitiaki, Phil Taueki has been involved in an ongoing uphill battle in that respect with locals, Council and Police in his efforts to stop ongoing pollution. He featured recently on Kaitiaki Wars (available on demand) and also in this news item from Marae TV on the history and on the Horowhenua District Council’s stance. Taueki states that the lake, “… a prized taonga” has been “turned into the town’s toilet…”

The lake is now so polluted (video)*  it was dubbed in a 2014 Listener article as the ‘Lake of shame’.  It is not safe to drink or to swim in.  A National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist reported in 2012 that the “water in Lake Horowhenua is so toxic that it could kill a small child.” There were plans this year (2015) for swimmers to commemorate ANZAC by crossing the lake (once the training venue for Lord General Freyberg before WWI) however the cost to clean it up was $2.886 million, clearly not a priority. The non priority status of this issue is reflected in the tight time frame given it by the Crown for this hearing, a fact highlighted by Land Claim lawyer Leo Watson.

EnvirowatchRangitikei


Crown Concedes it Failed to Protect Lake Horowhenua from Pollution

By NICHOLAS MCBRIDE “The Crown has conceded it failed to protect Lake Horowhenua from pollution, breached the Treaty of Waitangi on multiple occasions and left the Muaupoko iwi virtually landless.

The Waitangi Tribunal hearing opened at the Horowhenua Events Centre in Levin on Monday, with 22 claims looking at Lake Horowhenua, Hokio Stream and the Horowhenua land block.

“We believe this will be one of the most profound hearings we will have in this district,” Judge Caren Fox said on the opening morning of the tribunal.

In its written submission, released before the hearing, the Crown acknowledged that  the Muaupoko iwi had “well-founded grievances”.

It breached the Treaty of Waitangi  and this allowed Lake Horowhenua to become polluted…

In the opening submissions for claimants, lawyer Leo Watson, speaking on the Hokio A land claim and Horowhenua Lake claim, said the Crown had perpetrated wrongs against Muaupoko, causing “profound generational impacts”….

the Crown had not acted in good faith, not talked with Muaupoko and had failed to protect the lake.

It had also been left with “a mere sliver” of the 50,000 acres it once had.”

Read the article here

* Lake image and video courtesy of Nick Simmons YT Channel

Anzac, General Freyberg and the Once Pristine Lake Horowhenua (Part 2)

The iconic ANZAC poppy

Returning here to the story of the pollution of our supposedly ‘clean green’ waterways,  the centennial commemoration of the landing at Gallipoli, and Muaupoko’s once pristine lake that Lord General Freyberg trained in. Freyberg is known to younger New Zealanders as a General who served in WWII. He earned his VC (Victoria Cross) however in WW1 as an expert swimmer. My father was his driver for four years during WW2. To read Part 1 go HERE. 

Lake Horowhenua (continued)
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Groups boating on Lake Horowhenua 1908 (Photo courtesy of Horowhenua Historical Society Inc.)

In the case of the Muaupoko people, their lake that historically they’d generously shared with the locals for recreation, was also a sacred site, being the resting place for many of their ancestors. The Councils of the day that agreed to its pollution would have known that the owners also relied on it for their food and income. They’d had to wade out amidst human feces and toilet paper to their eel weirs (traps or nets). Other food sources within the lake would also become so inedible, many of  the people eventually moved away. The fouling of food sources like this is tantamount to emptying a septic tank straight onto your neighbour’s vegetable garden. Not ending there however, the lake’s pollution has continued unabated and is now one of the most polluted in the country. Even today apparently, sewage is released whenever a nearby pumping station is overloaded, and it’s been said from testing of the water that a small glass-full has the potential to kill an animal or even a small child.

The Rangitikei District Council logo, tweaked for truth

The cited $2.886 million to clean up the sheer negligence of previous generations has become it appears, the new norm. Horizons Regional Council is tasked with ‘maintaining and enhancing our Region’s land, water, air, coast and habitat protection.’ The operative and strategic word here is ‘enhancing’. A fairly all- encompassing term that doesn’t tie the Council to too much in the way of specifics. This practice is borne out in other regions as well. When I began to research the cleanliness of our waterways in this ‘clean green’ land … I began to notice that although there is a standard of acceptance set, it’s not always strictly enforced as was evident in the case of the discharge of leachate into our Rangitikei waterways for nine years. In spite of efforts in 2011 by local residents to bring this into the light of day via the Community Committee, council ignored their cries and the pollution still continues. (Documented on this site). In recent discussions with our Mayor Andy Watson about this pollution, he put it into ‘perspective’ by citing the fact that it is not out of the ordinary and other Rangitikei treatment plants are also non compliant. A bit like our kids do when they argue ‘everybody else is doing it’.  We have here an informal agreement that financially benefits the offshore corporation, Midwest Disposals,  while severely polluting our waterways … with promises for clean up that never quite materialize. Councils are well versed in rhetoric like, ‘it will take time’, ‘it could take months’ and more recently, in the case of the Rangitikei, ‘we’re chipping away at it’ … dragging the chain as it were, to forestall any definite action.

Add to this Lake Horowhenua’s damning history and the fact that the nearby Manawatu River is one of the most polluted in the Southern Hemisphere … plus the numerous other tales of pollution NZ-wide, and you will see a familiar pattern emerging. We are touted in the international advertising spin as being ‘clean and green’, yet in the cold light of day our environment is being severely trashed. Ironically the rhetoric on the associated council and environmental websites all point to the need for sustainable practices (UN Agenda 21 plan) and yet the powers that be fail to live up to them. Double speak and hypocrisy at it’s worst. The mentality our governing authorities have that we can simply pay all this damage forward to future generations, whilst corporate business interests continue to profit and/or save money now will not only be the death of our planet but the death of us as well. As it’s been said by an astute observer, ‘there can be no economy on a dead planet’.

ANZAC Service at Lake Horowhenua
ANZAC Service at Lake Horowhenua, Levin

The ANZAC Service

Returning to the ANZAC Day service, it turned out to be one of the nicest ANZAC services we’d ever attended. The people there were warmly welcoming and so interested in our piece of history that they invited us to share. We accepted of course and were touched that this trio of old soldiers who have now passed on, were honoured with a waiata (a song).  We felt right at home and were welcomed afterwards to a beautiful spread of kai and a cuppa, with lovingly prepared, locally cooked eel, sandwiches and cream sponges to name a few items on the menu. I’m sure the General himself would have been suitably impressed, and I know my dear Dad would’ve been proud as. Over our cuppa, we also learned something of the history of the lake, its owners who had welcomed us, and their long and ongoing struggle with local council to not only retain it, but to keep it clean, an all too familiar David and Goliath tale in our histories. My father himself had shares in Whanganui tribal lands that he never understood. Confiscated I believe by Te Kooti Tango Whenua (the Land Taking Court).

My father, James Alfred D'Arcy Vernon 1922-2007
My father, James Alfred D’Arcy Vernon 1922-2007

Before closing, a word on war. Although we honour our forbears every ANZAC, we need to remember that these loved ones who truly did sacrifice their lives, were pawns in a much larger scheme of events. My father, who went off to WW II with his four brothers at the tender age of 17, said in his latter years that wars would never end because ‘wars make money’. Great Britain, and the royal family both deal in the arms trade and the Queen is the current owner of one sixth of the planet. (Note well, her royal predecessors did not acquire it by entirely peaceful negotiations). She has our nation registered on the SEC website as her corporation … we are a registered company which explains the absence of true care for our environment. Corporations are, above all,  about profits.

So, as always, we need to follow the familiar money trail. Those who read beyond the official histories (who know that ‘Maori Wars’ and ‘Indian Wars’ were actually ‘Land Wars’) will also be aware of the role of the Rothschild family in fomenting and profiteering from wars for hundreds of years, boasting even of funding both sides. The death toll from WWII was over 50 million lives.

“I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply”…Nathan Mayer Rothschild

Our loved ones were simply pawns.

“If my sons did not want wars, there would be none”… Mrs Rothschild

Nevertheless we honour the fact that our loved ones went honourably and served their beloved countries and peoples. These other people, the profiteers, have blood on their hands that one day, I believe, they will  have to answer for. Dad 2

~ EnvirowatchRangitikei ~

Anzac, General Freyberg and the Once Pristine Lake Horowhenua (Pt 1)

The iconic ANZAC poppy

Here is a story of pollution at its worst. ANZAC, unexpectedly this year (2015) became the avenue of discovery and the event that prompted me to write this post. A note first to non-Kiwis/Aussies, ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps … every 25th of April, we commemorate our brave soldiers … our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, who both risked and sacrificed their lives in the two World Wars.

Freyberg in his youth at Oriental Bay, Wellington (NZ)
A young Freyberg at Oriental Bay in Wellington NZ

I hadn’t intended going to an ANZAC service and haven’t done since my father passed away in 2007. It brings back my deep sadness at losing him. An ad however, in the Horowhenua Chronicle, was brought to my attention by a family member about a special service to be held at Lake Horowhenua, Levin, honouring Lord General Freyberg for the centenary of  the Gallipoli landing.  My father had been his driver for four years during WWII, and Lake Horowhenua was one of the venues Freyberg had trained at in NZ as a young swimmer.  His swimming would later earn him the VC (Victoria Cross) in WWI. The Horowhenua Chronicle read:

” Lieutenant General Bernard Freyberg was a dentist in Levin before World War I; by the end of the war he was a decorated hero and recipient of the Victoria Cross. He earned the first of his four Distinguished Service Order medals for a swim he undertook on the morning of the invasion of Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. In darkness, Freyberg had towed to shore a raft of flares to light as decoys before undertaking unarmed and alone a reconnaissance of the large army entrenched nearby.”

This ANZAC service was being organized by Phil Taueki (Muaupoko iwi) one of Lake Horowhenua’s owners and kaitiaki or guardian of the lake.  The original commemorative plans would have seen swimmers crossing the lake however, those plans were dropped. You will see why shortly.

General Freyberg, his batman laurie Keucke and driver (my father) Jim Vernon
General Freyberg (centre) Corporal L. Keucke (left) and L. Sgt. J. Vernon (right)

We had no idea Freyberg had trained in Lake Horowhenua, or even that he had lived so close to our home town, only fifty or so minutes drive away. We decided to go to the service and take along with us the group photo my father treasured of the General, the General’s batman (also my father’s good friend) Laurie Keucke and himself, taken en route from Arrezzo, Rome, when they’d stopped for a ‘brew up’ and refreshments .

Lord General Freyberg

“… although it could be frightening  being on the road and always vulnerable to attack, nevertheless the General was always without fear … ” L. Sgt. James Vernon (Driver)

My father remembered Freyberg as a fearless man who already had 18 wounds at that time. His driver from El Alamein to Monte Cassino to Rimini, he said that although it could be frightening  being on the road and always vulnerable to attack, nevertheless the General was always without fear.

Freyberg apparently had a sense of humour too behind his fearsome exterior and knew the boys called him ‘Tiny’. Because his parents had emigrated from the UK to NZ when he was just a small child,  he would undoubtedly have experienced the Kiwi culture and its characteristic sense of humour growing up. For example, when staff who didn’t like the fact that Kiwi soldiers didn’t always salute them, he’d suggested they try waving instead!

“… they wouldn’t get away with that in the British Army … ” (General Freyberg)

The New Zealand guys always gave him a bit of stick too my father said. Knowing of his swimming expertise, when Freyberg and his men were getting ready to cross the Sangro River during the Italian campaign, someone called out, “Hey Freyberg, you gonna swim across?”. This was met with a tight lipped, “they wouldn’t get away with that in the British Army”, and as always with this kind of comment, a gleam in his eye.

The kind of man the Freyberg was is evident too in his posing for the group photograph. Generals wouldn’t normally be photographed I’ve been told, with that level of staff . After WW II when Freyberg visited Dad’s home town Whanganui, he’d broken rank and hugged my father when he spotted him in the parade … exclaiming how he always remembered the wonderful breakfasts he’d cooked him in the desert.  I always remember him as an excellent cook. After Freyberg’s appointment as Governor General of NZ after the war in 1946 my father and other of Freyberg’s staff I’ve heard, would call on him for a cup of tea at his home in Wellington, and every year, there would always be a Christmas card from Government House.

Lake Horowhenua

Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ
Lake Horowhenua, Levin, NZ

Returning to Lake Horowhenua, it turns out that the pristine lake the young dentist had trained in all those decades ago, had since been transformed  from a valuable source of income and kai (food) for Muaupoko … into a literal toilet bowl. Raw sewage had been pumped into it for two decades starting in the 1950s, and although it ceased in the 1980s, the lake has continued to be polluted to this day by effluent from both surrounding dairy farming and from local agricultural activity. The price tag to clean up the pollution and realize the dream of having swimmers cross the lake on the day was estimated by Horizons to be $2.886 million.

This story is all too familiar. Here in the Rangitikei we have our own pollution scenario, where locals have complained that the extension to Bonny Glen landfill to now nearly quintuple its size, will turn our ‘unspoilt’ district into the toilet bowl rather than the ‘grain bowl’ of the lower North Island. ‘Unspoilt’ is the featured word on our official district logo. This is clearly not true.

“Two-thirds of more than 160 monitored river swimming spots in New Zealand have been deemed unsafe for a dip”   NZ Herald  30/1/2015

Read Part 2 of this post with more on the events that transpired that ANZAC Day.

Dad 2

~ EnvirowatchRangitikei ~

Watching our environment … our health … and corporations … exposing lies and corruption

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