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Monday
Nov102014

Hauraki Rail Trail - It Gets Worse!

Herewith is the documentation requested at the previous meeting of the UEDC, and now provided by the Chair of the HRTCT - this includes the Report of Wayne Hernderson (HDC Chief Engineer, and the person designated to work with the various people who constritute the PTO (Principal Trail Operator - Mike Barnett), and PTM (Principal Trail Management - Hauraki Rail Trails Ltd - Mike Barnett & Peter Maynard) The latter is now departed and it appears that the managemnent is being undertaken by his brother Josh Maynard from the HRT Thames Office - conveniently distant from the principal place of business - Paeroa.

It is all so complicated that it can only be described as a classical structure designed to shed responsibility in such a manner that it is virtually impossible to sheet home just 'who is up who, and who pays the piper.' By the time you have worked your way through Wayne Henderson's Report you will be lucky if you are not permanently cross-eyed. How Hammond could decide that all was 'hunky-dory' after receiving this quality of information, and subsequently releasing the funds is beyond me, and another example in my view of gross mis-management at best. It will be interesting to hear what the members of the Unelected EDC have to say about it on Wednesday, though I expect anything adverse will be confined to behind closed doors.

I can see no connection between the accounts that have been provided, and the Audit Office Report that contained so many qualifications and criticisms, and frankly I don't think they or anyone else is likely to be able to make any real sense out of them either. I guess that there is one gratifying aspect - the Trustee Fees & Allowances were cut from $28.5k to $12.9k - heaven only knows how they managed to justify any fees, let alone that which they claimed. No wonder that Warren Mayle decided to pack his bags - at least he must have been very well paid for his efforts! The Trust has clearly been totally ineffective in exercising the control over HRT that was expected of it. 

If you read between the lines of the Henderson Report you quickly become aware that the PTO and HRT have the Councils over a barrell with a contract that cannot be dissolved by one party without the most heinous of activities having been proven - and that may be difficult to say the least. Mr Barnett clearly knew what he was doing , and as usual, our Council employees have been shown up as business neophytes when it comes to protecting the interests of rate-payers.

There are apparently eleven matters on which Henderson was required to secure explanations - as of now, if one is believe the Report, almost none have been obtained, but he has apparently developed a 'far better understanding' with the new manager - Josh Barnard. It seems that the end of October was the deadline for receiving almost all of the answers required, but there is nothing in the Report to indicate that this deadline was met. Perhaps there will be a verbal on Wednesday to allay what must be giving real cause for concern amongst our Unelected Committee members, but clearly not our CEO!

More later!

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Bill
In light of your Wednesday 12 post, it does indeed get worse.
Your comment about declining revenue is especially significant, the moreso as this is only the second year of operation. Those in the tourism business might reasonably have expected some growth as the asset beds in and becomes more widely known amongst the visiting bike-riding fraternity.
I would wonder, should this year also see declining revenues, how long it takes before the UEDC and rate-payers start to ask 'difficult to answer' questions? The small operators in the Thames heritage sector have not seen any significant or lasting growth in visitor numbers in the last few years, and, while a cycle trail is quite a different marketing proposition, the decline in revenue might be a function of the visitor statistic performance in this area as experienced in the heritage sector. Small business operators along Pollen Street would (I think) readily offer up the thought that retail SME's have a long way to go before they are experiencing 'profitability'.
TCDC is investing very heavily in the HRT and Destination Coromandel, neither of which 'businesses' are profitable without rate-payer subsidy. While business owning rate-payers are working their businesses for paltry personal incomes, it is ironic that the latest rate demands have just been received, a portion of which will go the council supported operations which probably pay staff and CE's a good level of return.
Doesn't seem right to me, especially when viewed alongside the apparent poor return on rate-payer investment.

November 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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