Tag Archives: sisters of compassion

Horowhenua Housing Sale Update from Radio NZ

council flat 2

Thanks to At the Nua on FB for this link to an update from Radio NZ

Listen at the link. Further updates at the weekend. For previous info see our last week’s posts at the right side of the page or search HDC in ‘categories’ or the search box.

Outcry as Horowhenua confirms sale of pensioners units

Horowhenua’s community housing all but gifted to the new ‘front’ company ‘Compassion Horowhenua’ (leaked)

The pensioner housing for the elderly in the Horowhenua has sold for the song of $5.5 million. “Information leaked to Stuff reveals the council is selling the pensioner units to a new company called Compassion Horowhenua for $5.5 million – a price some sources have labelled a bargain”. (Stuff) That will be the company we recently noted was formed ONE WEEK before the sale, fronting (?) for Willis & Bond, large property developers who surely wouldn’t need a bargain & will likely be laughing all the way to the bank right now. Stuff doesn’t say too much about the front company. This was a fire sale price indeed. Mayor Feyen was right about that. Still think they shouldn’t be opening the books at HDC?

I’ve heard estimates that the housing was actually worth around $25 million. There were 115 houses/units which equates to around a measly $47K per unit according to my rough calculations. Quite a bargain isn’t it?

So, councils have economic development committees (Cr Campbell was slammed last year for criticizing Horowhenua’s EDC ) … presumably they would have been involved in the sale, or at least consulted, managing the economic development of Horowhenua as they do & surely having their fingers on the pulse of property values? If it was them, then IMO they need to be sacked. All of them. Eight prominent businessmen, we were proudly told the day Cr Campbell was ousted as DM. Where are their skills, or the skills of whomever did sell them? (and of course we may never know since it was all behind closed doors). Not only that, we were promised they would sell to a community housing provider not a property developer. As we know they’ve gotten around that by signing the Sisters of Compassion up via their new company (‘Compassion Horowhenua’) to add the promised wrap-around service that’s yet to be defined (and surely, where are their ethics?) & I’m not holding my breath on that one. I suspect the Horowhenua Ratepayers Assn’s concerns about land banking could likely be correct.  In Tamaki (article soon to come on that), land banking has been occurring with many state homes sitting empty since 2012 … and we have 41K homeless in our country. Our government/corporation has NO SHAME. And as for this debacle. ‘Compassion Horowhenua’? They think we all came down in the last shower. And if this is true, they will get away with it because they can.

By the way, the article says they consulted vigorously. They consulted vigorously with the tenants over a free dinner, hardly ethical. And pensioners who opposed the idea were smartly shut down. At least that is what two pensioners have told me. (For further info from whistle blowers on HDC’s questionable goings on see our Horowhenua page under Local Govt Watch at the main menu).
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Council-owned pensioner housing sells for $5.5 million

The controversial sale of council-owned pensioner housing in Horowhenua includes measures to protect tenants, but not enough to satisfy opponents of the move.

Grey Power Horowhenua is worried the 115 pensioner units in Levin, Foxton and Shannon could soon be offered to other social housing users, instead of just pensioners, when ownership changes hands.

The sale has attracted widespread opposition because much of the wheeling and dealing has taken place behind closed council doors, although the Horowhenua District Council says it consulted rigorously.

Information leaked to Stuff reveals the council is selling the pensioner units to a new company called Compassion Horowhenua for $5.5 million – a price some sources have labelled a bargain.

The sale will be settled by September 30.

READ MORE

http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/93457559/councilowned-pensioner-housing-sells-for-55-million

 

Why did a large property developer register a company called ‘Compassion Horowhenua’ a week before Horowhenua’s community housing sold? (Includes updates)

 NOTE: Due to the unfolding nature of this topic, check back regularly for further updates which will be included at the end of this article. Thank you.

You may be aware that the Horowhenua’s pensioner houses have been sold as of last week. The announcement came shortly after the secret meeting precluded by the public allowed section when it was clear any last ditch attempts by the Mayor to delay the sale or even the decision to sell were squashed (all at the above link). We have been given eight weeks to hear who bought them but have been reassured that the new owners will be providing wrap around services far superior to what HDC have offered. We were also told they had to sell because of the financial logistics. Not viable. Too much debt. You can read the details of that in the various news reports.

Today, At the Nua, a Horowhenua FB page, posted a very pertinent and intriguing question. It appears someone has been doing a bit of research around the sale of the housing & come up with some interesting information … here is a quote from the page:

“Why on 16 May 2017 has a Wellington Developer, Willis Bond & Co, registered several new companies like “Compassion Horowhenua” and “WB Horowhenua”- so who is BEHIND the companies looking to acquire the community houses?

The councillors have led us to believe that the new owner is the “Sisters of Compassion” but are they just a “front” for a property investment by this Wellington Developer?”

I’ve had a search myself around the companies register and found the following (which by the way is obviously publicly accessible and not private confidential knowledge). It is certainly interesting that these businesses were registered just one week before the highly secretive sale. Nobody will argue they have been secretive. The Mayor was taken off the committee for the sale (due to said conflict of interest, he’s always opposed the sale for very good reasons) and the establishment have discussed the entire affair behind closed doors. HDC has also declined to open the books. (For further info on the goings on at HDC see the Horowhenua sub page under our Local Govt Watch pages).  And watch this space because hopefully there will be some explanations forthcoming on this. And in eight weeks hopefully we are going to hear what price the houses went for.

 

UPDATES
31 May 2017

It’s been confirmed that the sale was/is to the property developer. This information is from At the Nua on FB :

http://willisbond.co.nz/

“Confirmed – Wellington Property Development company Willis Bond & Co is behind offer to purchase Horowhenua Community Housing.

This company will be the OWNER of the Community Housing NOT Sisters of Compassion as we have been led to believe…”

In addition read our latest article taken from FB with permission and posted by the Horowhenua Ratepayers and Residents Assn. at their page:
A Horowhenua Group has presented 2,300+ signatures to HDC opposing the community housing sale & raise many unanswered questions about this secret deal (

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