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Friday
Jul062018

Just What Are Our Council's Objectives?

I happen to know that our Mayor is decidedly ambivalent over the manner in which certain groups set about accessing Council funding for what many of us consider dubious or conflicting objectives.

It calls into question the role of our Council, particularly in the light of what appears the Government's  determination to reinstate the "social, economic, cultural and environmental well-beings" of their communities. The Labour driven mantra evolved in Clark's time, and was dumped by National, but it has reappeared on the agenda, and  part of a bill going through Parliament at this time. This is in addition to the 'water revolution' being pushed in the back-ground by Minister Nanaia Mahuta. 

What concerns me is the manner in which certain powerful interest groups have already secured largesse from Council that they appear to regard as a recurring financial subsidy 'below the surface,' and out of sight of most rate-payers. Take a look at this 19 July 2012 NZH editorial  on the subject - nothing has changed - we are right back where we started with the change of Government.

I mention as an example the Thames Business Association that is barely off the ground with confused objectives, and an as yet unstable governance structure that has secured $80,000 of our Community Board funding. And now I have had reported to me a equally strange allocation by the Tairua/Pauanui, and Whangamata Boards to a group calling itself the Paradise Coast Inc. which based on its membership, is aimed at improving the marketing of the coast from north of Tairua, to south of Whangamata both from a tourism standpoint and real estate development.

In fact, all the prominent East coast developers appear to be involved as promoters with Mr Hopper prominent of course, along with most of the Councilors and Board members. I note that even Area Manager Gary Towler appears on the list of 'applicants' for registration of the Paradise Coast Incorporated Society. That would appear to be a conflict of interest if aver there was one, but even that is moot in regard to our particular Council. 

Many rate-payers appear incensed at the rough-shod way in which this 'Society' has been set up, allegedly representing their area, and accessing funding from the two Boards without adequate community consultation. From the documentation that has been provided to me, it appears that they have a point, and that their concerns are valid.

It appears simply a means by which wealthy developers and tourism 'boosters' are able gain access ro to rate-payer funding for a private purpose - real estate and tourism development.

We appear to be being 'taken for ride' once again, both in this instance and in regard to many others that sneak through the back door of Council - remember the famous Leach inspired $40,000 grant to the Rod Millen Boy Racers Carnival at Hahei that finally, and fortunately got the message that Council funding was not only inappropriate, it was probably down-right corrupt?

These boondoogles have to be watched very closely, and fake news challenged. That is why independent journalism of this nature is important - it is virtually the only way to keep them honest!   

 

 

 

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