Tag Archives: property development

Buying a house in NZ is ‘code’ for ‘apocalypse insurance’ – & a billionaire gets instant residency

Thanks to thecontrail.com for this link, & no not new news but a reminder of how money speaks  (Thiel being  Paypal’s founder) in our neo-lib ‘paradise down under’.

 

“New Zealand citizenship rules normally require an applicants to be a permanent resident for 1,350 days in the five years preceding an application.”

“Buying a house in New Zealand has become a sort of code for getting “apocalypse insurance,” as Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn puts it to the New Yorker last year…”

“Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more…”

 

From the businessinsider.co.au

Peter Thiel is building a panic room in his New Zealand property, and it could be a sign that he’s part of a growing number of American millionaires choosing New Zealand as their Doomsday destination.

Last year it emerged the billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Paypal was granted New Zealand citizenship in 2011.

Thiel visited the country just three times for a grand total of 12 days before his citizenship was granted.

New Zealand citizenship rules normally require an applicants to be a permanent resident for 1,350 days in the five years preceding an application.

During his few visits he met four senior members of the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister.

Following public backlash, authorities who oversaw the citizenship defended their decision to give Thiel citizenship by saying he had been “a great ambassador and salesperson” for the country.

According to the New York Times, Thiel wrote in his application: “I am happy to say categorically that I have found no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand.”

He told Business Insider in 2011 he found “utopia” in New Zealandand already had two noteworthy venture investments in Xero and Pacific Fibre.

iStockQueenstown [NZ Herald]

Despite saying that he had no plans to reside in New Zealand after gaining citizenship, and that he’d rather be “an enthusiastic supporter of the country,” the billionaire went on to make a number of real estate purchases.

In 2011 he bought a four-bedroom home in Queenstown for $NZ4.8 million.

And in 2015 he bought a 193-hectare block in Wanaka (the area used for the mountains in Lord of the Rings) for $NZ13.5 million.

He did not need to follow foreign buyers rules for the sales because he was a citizen.

While the land from the second purchase still remains undeveloped, it’s Thiel’s Queenstown property that is most intriguing.

After suffering a serious fire last year, causing more than $NZ500,000 in damage, Thiel used the opportunity to repurpose a walk-in closet — into a panic room.

The new design is laid out in building consents for the repairs filed with the Queenstown Lakes District Council in May, according to the Herald.

There have been numerous reports over the years about some of America’s wealthiest people buying property in New Zealand so that they have somewhere to flee in the event of a global catastrophe.

Buying a house in New Zealand has become a sort of code for getting “apocalypse insurance,” as Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn puts it to the New Yorker last year.

“Saying you’re ‘buying a house in New Zealand’ is kind of a wink, wink, say no more,” he said.

“Once you’ve done the Masonic handshake, they will be, like, ‘Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM silos, and they’re nuclear-hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in.’”

While some have previously pointed to New Zealand as Thiel’s “back up country”, he has not ever confirmed it.

This latest development however sure looks like he is preparing his Doomsday bunker for Armageddon.

Read the full article from NZ Herald here >>

 

SOURCE

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/peter-thiel-building-panic-room-in-new-zealand-house-2018-2

Photo: Pixabay, eihbheinne

The public have seen little accountability from the Horowhenua NZ Trust formed last year

From Veronica Harrod

Last month Horowhenua deputy mayor Wayne Bishop’s land and property development company was sold 2.7 hectares next to land earmarked for transfer to the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust.

On 2 November Wayne Bishop Investment Ltd purchased half a hectare of a former industrial site at 56-62 Cambridge Street South for $480,000 and 2.7 hectares of land behind it for $360,000. It is the first time the 2.7 hectare block has been sold.

The 2.7 hectare of land now owned by Cr Bishop’s company is directly beside 7.6 hectares of public land owned by Horowhenua District Council at 72 Cambridge Street South earmarked for sale in Council’s November 2015 Property Strategy.

Last year Council voted to establish what it referred to as an “economic development trust” called the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust (HNZT) and transfer up to 40 percent of public assets to the trust as “seed capital” which includes the 72 Cambridge Street South site.

The Cambridge Street acquisitions are in close proximity to three other land purchases by Cr Bishop’s land and property development company in Hinemoa and Liverpool Street totalling almost 12 hectares of prime real estate.

Almost one hectare in Hinemoa Street has a rateable value of just $165,000 but a Capital Value of $1.2 million.

The valuation of Cr Bishop’s Speldhurst development, being built in stages on the 48 hectare former Kimberley Hospital site, increased by 430 percent in 2016 from $3.8 million to $20.3 million. The site is still listed as “leasehold land” on Quotable Values database, “meaning someone else has a freehold interest in the property.”

Cr Bishop was deputy chair of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and six former board members are now all trustees of the HNZT.

Since six members of the EDB were named as trustees Council has removed all references to the EDB from its website although there has been no formal announcement the board has been dis-established.

On 18 October 2018, five months after HNZT was registered, a financial services company called The Horowhenua Company was established naming all but one trustee of HNZT as shareholders.

Former EDB chair and trustee of HNZT Cameron Lewis is a director and a shareholder of The Horowhenua Company.

The other shareholders include former EDB members and trustees of HNZT Antony Young, Evan Kroll, Larry Ellison and Ron Turk.

The majority of councillors voted in support of Council’s chief executive officer David Clapperton assisting the trust but voted against Mayor Michael Feyen being involved.

The author further comments:

The public have not been provided with any information since the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust was registered on 31 May. Has land already been sold or transferred to the trust? Council’s chief executive David Clapperton has made conflicting statements. He initially said the public would be consulted. But then he released information that stated the public did not have to be consulted on the sale of $28 million property because it was “non-core” property; not significant or “core” property. Has 72 Cambridge Street South already been transferred to the trust? What other property has been transferred? A Stuff article of 28 June [five months ago] states “the first group of properties are expected to be transferred in the next few months.” The public were assured the trust structure included accountability however the public have seen little of that. Instead it appears the public know little to nothing that is apparently being done on the community’s behalf as a charitable trust.

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

From Veronica Harrod

Expressway past Levin a high stakes game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan walk the talk on community outcomes?

Does Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan walk the talk on community outcomes?

The cheerful exterior of the Horowhenua District Council’s first 20 year Long Term Plan (LTP) consultation document contrasts markedly with the content inside.

The community is becoming increasingly distressed about council’s intention to impose skyrocketing annual rates increases of between $500 and $700 in urban areas and at least $2000 for rural residential and farms in the next ten to fifteen years to construct new water and waste water systems in five targeted areas.

Which is why it is questionable the council is committed to walking the talk on “community outcomes” included in the LTP which includes a “sense of place”, a “safe and supportive environment” that is “inclusive, connected [and gives the] opportunity to influence local outcomes and decisions.”

Despite new essential infrastructure being planned due to “new growth” council has stated in the LTP reintroducing Development Contributions, that land and property developers used to pay to help fund essential infrastructure costs, won’t be discussed until 2019-2020. Development Contributions were cancelled by council in 2015.

Council’s apparent refusal to reintroduce development contributions is despite an admission by council in the LTP on Horowhenua’s essential infrastructure that, “many of these assets are now reaching, or have already passed, the end of their expected life.”

The LTP states a preference to “progressively pay for more asset renewals from rates and operating surpluses” which raises the question of why council has also signalled an intention in the LTP to increase debt levels by 20 percent to $171 million. What is the increased debt paying for if not one of the most expensive costs of a council: essential infrastructure?

Also there are no operating surpluses as the LTP states, “Council has a history of budget deficits which, in the last LTP, we hoped to turn around by 2018-2019…we are now working to turn this around….by 2021-2022.”

This means ratepayers will be entirely and solely responsible for new asset renewals in the foreseeable future when an extensive number of land and property development projects, included in the council’s draft Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040, are due to be rolled out

From November 2017 to March 2018 urban residents connected to council water systems experienced water restrictions for three months but none of these areas are targeted for significant essential infrastructure improvements over the next twenty years.

The council also does not intend to develop new waste management solutions in Levin either despite being a Lake Accord partner committed to restoring heavily polluted waterways and Lake Horowhenua in an area of cultural and environmental significance.

Council has also indicated a preference to dispose of ALL community halls. In the LTP council makes the comment, “if selling them proves unsuccessful in some cases there may be no other option but to demolish derelict buildings.”

Submissions close on March 26 and hearings and deliberations will be carried out in May before the final 20 year LTP is adopted by council in July.


 

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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Public Private Partnerships are an arm of the world’s growing corporatocracy & their bottom line is to take control of the assets of Government …    Joan Veon

This must watch 15 min video is from the late Joan Veon who provides valuable insight into the workings we are seeing today in our Local Councils and Government as they continue to sell off our country’s assets. In a less visible way than outright sales because they know the public would be outraged if they knew what was really going on. Partnerships that look benign enough however  they are the thin end of the proverbial wedge that is prising away your nation’s valuable assets, gone never to be returned.  EnvirowatchRangitikei

Published on Aug 29, 2012

Joan Veon (1949-2010), founder of The Women’s International Media Group, explains the history and significance of the growing Public Private Partnership model of government. She shares her research and conclusions regarding PPPs; that is they are nothing more than an arm of the growing corporatocracy that is permeating our world.  Upon earning her business degree, Ms Veon worked as a Certified Financial Planner in PA, The IDS and Windsor Financial Group in MD, before incorporating and opening Veon Financial Services, Inc. in the spring of 1986. As Joan studied financial trends she began to notice an alignment indicating a world currency. In 1994 she attended her first global meeting on Population Control in Cairo Egypt, initiating her first glimpse of world government. Thus beginning her second career as a credentialed, independent, International Journalist reporting for USA Radio News Network. During the next 16 years Joan interviewed and asked key questions of prime ministers, presidents, kings, and heads of state. Joan covered over 103 international meetings, including: the G7, G8, G10, G20, and Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel Switzerland; attended yearly the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland; and twice a year covered the IMF World Bank meetings. In addition she attended UN meetings on the Free Trade Areas of the Americas, Sustainable Development, the Earth Summit, Climate Control, the International World Court, and numerous others. Following the UN conference on Sustainable Development in Istanbul Joan was compelled to write her first book “Prince Charles, the Sustainable Prince” published in 1997, followed by her second book “Global Straitjacket” in 1999. Joan founded The Women’s International Media Group, a non-profit organization, in 1998 to share her vast knowledge and understanding of world government.

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

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