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More on the Whitianga Medical Centre

Here are the comments of "A bemused spectator' on the Whitianga Waterways Medical Centre post:

"The thing to bear in mind is that Whitianga Waterways have obtained a consent for and want to build a huge big retirement village on their land.

For the retirement village to work as a realistic development proposition, it needs to have medical facilities of a certain standard that do not currently exist. They also want those medical facilities effectively 'on site' as that can be used integrally as an effective marketing tool for the sale of retirement village units, which will be sold not as freehold titles but as a 'right to occupy' (that is where the real money lies in the retirement game as you can keep selling a new property many times over constantly reaping a new profit).

To make it work on site they also need to move all the medical professionals there, both existing and future (the scope of the facility could be expected to increase dramatically once the retirement village is up and running and employ many more doctors and nurses).

The cost of building a new medical facility will not be cheap. One could expect its cost to be many times (maybe 10 x) greater than the cost of the land. So if Hoppers can get their new medical facility built only for the cost of donating their land then they have made a very good business transaction. That transaction would become even more profitable if they have managed to persuade the Council to 'trade off'' Development Contributions for the land as they did with the sports ground land.

Also, to build the medical facility one must get 'buy in' and eventually money from the health sector who could be expected to pay for a fair bit of it. That requires the obtaining all sorts of specialist reports about what facilities may be required, the use of specialist planners - and the use of lawyers etc. etc. That cost and aggravation will now fall on the community and in particular the Council, rather than Whitianga Waterways.

All in all it sounds like another good day at the office for Whitianga Waterways due to them landing even another sucker punch landed on the Council!

Chris Lux will be chuckling. He need not feel so lonely anymore."

These are my comments in response:

"A bemused spectator" is quite correct - WW sought an obtained a Consent based on the a plan that included a Medical Centre. In other words, it was always to be their responsibility to build the center and provide the facilities for the occupants of their development. It is only over recent times that they have managed in their inimitable style to shed the responsibility on to the community by the simple and much cheaper expedient of 'providing' the land.

Now the Council is being 'hit up' for an iniitial $250,000 to cover all the immediate costs, and will no doubt be required to cover a great deal more as time goes on. This is not a good deal for rate-payers as claimed by Leach and his cohort on Council - it is an abrogation o WW's responsibility achieved in exactly the same manner as was achieved in regard to the Sport's Ground - in that case the Ground was supposed to have been provided in exchange for cancelled Development Contributions as stated by the commentator, but ended up costing rate-payers an 'arm and a leg' because of the incompetence of all parties to the transaction. .

Further more, it is not Council's responsibility to provide or even partly provide these facilities - it is the responsibility of the Waikato Health Board as it was right here at the outset in Thames and elsewhere. Generally, trusts are formed to complete the task by seeking funding contributions from all possible sources - including normal bank finance, and then to lease rooms to the professionals that require them. The Trust can then continue, or in time sell the entire facility to permanent occupants, pay off the loans and go out existence - that pattern has been followed in a number of communities, including Thames and Martinborough by way of example.
In this case, rate-payers have been literally 'screwed' in order to again curry favour with one of the Mayor's principle supporters, along with incompetent Councillors who have again been 'led by the nose'. They have of course been able to obtain favourable pre-election publicity in the age-old manner, and Waterway's get a great deal enabling them to immeasurably enhance their offering to potential purchasers.

When will we ever learn?




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