Ben Day Replies to LGOI Request
Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 4:33AM
Bill Barclay

The following is the reply received today to the third set of questions subitted in relation to the Business Growth Fund. The reply was received without prompting well within the 20 working day limit.

I would point out that I rapidly corrected the error (18 March, correcting post of 15 March) in relation to the totality of the Fund ($20,000 - not $200,000), but point taken.

Bill, regarding your request for information relating to the business growth funds: My responses are below:
a)         What was the closing date for applications to the 2013/14 Business Growth Fund?
            Originally the closing date for applications was 31 May 2013, this was extended in the end to 31 August 2013 after feedback from many potential applicants said the timeframes were a bit tight. 5 of the applications came into Council after the original deadline. I made the final decisions in mid-November 2013.
b)         What were the names of the applicants, and the dates the applications were lodged?
1.     Te Kouma Harbour Farms           - 3 May 2013
2.     Tairua Ferry Services                  - 31 May 2013  
3.     Coromandel Oyster Company       - 31 May 2013
4.     Omahu Valley Citrus                    - 30 May 2013
5.     Canyonz                                     - 23 July 2013
6.     Coromandel Adventures              - 6 June 2013
7.     Bullion Restaurant                       - 12 June 2013
8.     Guru Digital Media                      - 20 August 2013
9.     Art Down Under                          - 14 June 2013
c)         What method was used for the weightings applied to these applications?
All 9 applicants were assessed and scored on the basis of the criteria that can be found here.
d)         What was the system creation date, and time of the weighting matrix for each applicant?
The criteria were created prior to the close of applications and all applications were assessed after the receipt of the last application.
e)         Can I please be provided with a copy of the completed weighting  matrix for each applicant?
Unfortunately not, the matrix contains commercially sensitive information relating to the applicants business activities, financial viability and judgements made about that information by staff.  In accordance with sections 7(2)(f), 7(2)(b)(ii) and 7(2)(j) we believe that information should not be released. Further there is no public interest that  render it desirable to release the information. If you object to the withholding of the information detailed above, you have the right to appeal to the Ombudsman.  Requests must be in writing and should be directed to the Ombudsman's office, PO Box 10152 Wellington 6143.  The Ombudsman's contact phone number is 0800802602
f)          Can I please be advised precisely when were payments made to each successful applicant?
The grant was made in two payments, 29 November 2013 and 19 December 2013, upon production of receipt/invoices evidencing expenditure by the successful applicant.
I can confirm that Guru Digital Media were the recipients of the 2013/14 Business Growth Fund of $20,000 (not $200,000 as seen in your blog). In closing might I take the opportunity to say that we conducted a very comprehensive marketing campaign, the fund and application process was no secret. The Guru application was assessed on its merits and was by far the most compelling application, with a very strong track record of employment growth in Thames. The fund was all about supporting companies creating employment. Guru was the only applicant that was actually growing substantial and real jobs for the Coromandel.
Guru have used the funding to re-establish the business at the old Placemakers site, as it had out grown it's premises due to growing from several staff to over 20 in a year.
Kindest regards,

Ben Day

I make no comment at this stage regarding the content o the reply - rather I will leave it for readers to draw their own conclusions.





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