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Councils Holding the Country to Ransom

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  • Councils Holding the Country to Ransom

    I was reading this today and just shaking my head. It gives 3 examples of how the RMA is stuffing up this country:

    EnergyWise or EnergyStupid.

    In the Straight Furrow of May 18, Grant McLachlan, in his Human Nature column tells of a farmer exploring the idea of installing a micro-hydro plant to divert some of the water falling over a ten metre waterfall on his property to drive a micro-hydro plant rather than pay $200,000 to replace the aging power line to the national grid. According to the Energywise web site the generator would cost about $15,000, which looked like a good deal, and all in accord with our National Policies promoting renewable energy and so on.
    Then he went to the local regional council who advised that it would cost about $100,000 for the resource consent. And that was just for the ecological study and flow measurements. (Councils normally require a consent to extract the water and then after it goes through the turbine a discharge consent to put it back in the river. I suppose they have to cope with the loss of mauri in the process.) He found that experts who were not on the council-approved list would do the job for a few thousand dollars, but the approved experts quoted $40,000 and $50,000 for the same task. Obviously there is money growing on these ‘approved consultancy’ trees.
    Then these approved experts said he would probably also need a landscape architect and an "iwi consultant." Then they decided it would have to be notified. So, all up, this small micro-hydro plant would cost $200,000.
    So now we know why there are so few micro-hydros around our countryside.

    The Joy of Defeating Success.
    Last Friday's Central Leader tells us that the Onehunga Market has had to close after the Auckland City Council demanded the market close down because it needed a resource consent. The consent would cost at least $15,000, (and maybe $30,000) but worse, the market would have to close for the three to six months it would take to process. The market operated on Saturdays only, and opened in mid-March.
    Instead they will look for a new location. The “proper” zone is one block away. Council's position is that the market did not choose to pursue a resource consent, so they closed. Hardly surprising, given that they could have spent all that money, wasted all that down-time, and still ended up having their application declined.
    The kindly Council spokeswoman explained where the money goes:
    “If the council determined that the application needed to be processed with limited notification or full notification the overall deposit would be $11,000 or $22,000 respectively. The costs reflect the time spent by the planner handling the consent, any hearings commissoners, adminstration assistants and any experts that are involved.”
    So much for ‘vibrant’ downtowns, and promoting fresh fruit and vegetables, home gardening, sustainable lifestyles, and local initiatives and innovation, and all that other stuff Council documents are full of.

    Wasting resources on Waste.
    Writing in the New Zealand Herald’s CollegeHerald page, Adam Roscoe, a year 13 student at Green Bay High School, tells the story of how "$250,000 was flushed down Karekare's toilet in democracy's name".
    Just before we left our house at Karekare Beach to finally move to Kaiwaka in 1995, Council began making noises about replacing the old concrete toilets just across the road.
    Adam Roscoe reports that the consulting on this major project (three dunnies in a timber shelter) took seven years. While the battle raged the untreated waste from the primitive loos continued to pollute the nearby stream. It might have gone on forever, but finally Council sought a decision from an Environment Court Commissioner, who recognised "the undisputed need and value of an upgraded toilet system for visitors to this popular recreation area."
    They must be flash dunnies because they cost $479,000 to build. I wonder how much it would cost a private individual to build the same set of dunnies in a private camping ground.
    However, the total cost to Council was $730,000 because the cost of consultation was about $250,000.
    This takes no account of the seven years of wasted time and all the anger and resentment created by this process which bitterly divided the community. Five years into the drama the old system finally failed and had to be supplemented with Portaloos – which you can admire even today from Google Maps if you target the car park area.
    It was fun using Street View to peek at our old house again too. The trees have grown and we would be well screened by now.

    Adding it all up.
    These three tales, all collected in only one week in May, explain why so many people claim that the regulation of construction and development is now a bigger industry than the industry it is meant to regulate.
    The productivity commission has its work cut out.


    It's part of a longer article that can be found here: Source
    Last edited by donna; 21-03-2019, 01:05 PM. Reason: link broken
    Squadly dinky do!

  • #2
    "And who will regulate the local regulators?"

    "Oh, the other regulators in W'gton."

    "Right.

    "Hang on, what did you just say . . . . ?"


    .
    Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Davo36 View Post
      I was reading this today and just shaking my head:
      The Joy of Defeating Success.
      Last Friday's Central Leader tells us that the Onehunga Market has had to close after the Auckland City Council demanded the market close down because it needed a resource consent. The consent would cost at least $15,000, (and maybe $30,000) but worse, the market would have to close for the three to six months it would take to process. The market operated on Saturdays only, and opened in mid-March.
      Instead they will look for a new location. The “proper” zone is one block away. Council's position is that the market did not choose to pursue a resource consent, so they closed. Hardly surprising, given that they could have spent all that money, wasted all that down-time, and still ended up having their application declined.
      The kindly Council spokeswoman explained where the money goes:
      “If the council determined that the application needed to be processed with limited notification or full notification the overall deposit would be $11,000 or $22,000 respectively. The costs reflect the time spent by the planner handling the consent, any hearings commissoners, adminstration assistants and any experts that are involved.”
      So much for ‘vibrant’ downtowns, and promoting fresh fruit and vegetables, home gardening, sustainable lifestyles, and local initiatives and innovation, and all that other stuff Council documents are full of.
      Here in Frankton, Hamilton they also tried hard to mess up the Saturday Market thats been around a hell of a long time. This market has helped the shops in Frankton earn a decent income. However Forlongs moaned to the council, since they couldn't bother to spend part of their excessive profits on a bit of security, that this market caused them a lot of thieved items. With no decent attitude to fix their own problems they pushed the council to move the market a couple of streets away. Our amazed awareness from greedy Forlongs meant large numbers of us signed a petition to stop moving this market. But the local council instead opted to push the smaller sellers of non-food items to the other end of the street, where before most people avoided this end with the pub and a lack of a friendly feel about it .
      This shows how businesses with a foot in the council have their say while the rest always get ignored. We the rate payers just fork out money for nothing time and again while the council don't even think about who pays for their existence.
      Look at Auckland City Council (for one) that charges refuse collection to multi-apartment individual unit owners when already this refuse has been fully collected by a Waste Company. The unit owners pay body-corp levies that include this cost and the Waste Company has to pay the council when they dump the rubbish. Then the council charges rates that include Refuse Collection and don't refund the charge unless you complain or the body-corp does this for you. However the council makes promises but moves like a snail and refunds most the money near the end of the financial year. They keep a percentage for themselves for nothing and never repay the large amount of interest they earn every year from this scamming .

      Comment


      • #4
        Many councils are near broke and have large scale capital replacement projects looming over them (particularly waste water infrastructure).

        Rather than tackle the problem head on and honestly (with central Government assistance) they are trying to "Stealth Tax" their way out of trouble.

        Comment


        • #5
          This is one time I would have to agree with everyones sentiment on this topic. The RMA needs to be modified, and a degree of common sense must prevail, allas not allways the case, there are a number of council staffs all over this country that need to GO, of this I have no doubt. Take the waste water arguement, why when you have to go down 2 plus metres to install a new 525 class x s/w pipe, would you not install a 1025mtr dia, and in so doing improve the system for the future. But we will spend the millions on what we need for today with no thought for the future infrastructure, yes it costs more, from 60 to 80 million more, but we would then be able to service the growing, sprawling city. Even the bigger system would only last about 25yrs and need to be increased again, where does it end, either slow the infill and increase the parcel size on residential sections, then everyone moans about there developement potential being lost, I'm afraid I don't have an answer for that one. I am equally concerned about the attitude of councils believing they have a god given right to continually dip into the public purse with no accountibility, we as a nation should be encouraged to improve infrastructure and become more efficient, even a small improvement such as the one that DAVO described is an improvement, and the red tape needs to work smoothly with a reduced cost structure to encourage the ratepayers to approach dictrict councils for advice on these topics. I am really concerned to hear the difference between council approved professional costs, and non approved, my only answer for that is GREED AND HYPOCRACY, and I am absolutely worried about that one, if I ever catch anyone price goudging I will make some calls, there are ways to target these people and cause them some real worries. And I will leave it at that. Thanks for the posts on this subject, the worm is turning.

          Comment


          • #6
            The Best Story Yet

            I was in at the architect's office the other day and they told me about a house they're designing in Rodney.

            It's somewhere near the coast and birds fly down on to the shore nearby. So apparently the owner needs to get a Bird Flight Plan done (by some bird expert I guess) showing that the birds won't be unduly affected by his house!

            Now I'm an environmentalist but isn't this just plain over the top?



            Also another story from Papakura: Some guy is building a house in the new area by the estuary there. He applies for building consent, gets it and goes in to pick it up. He happens to mention it's going to be a show home. Guess what? Yep the council ping him for another $3500 saying because it's a showhome he has to pay more development contributions.
            Squadly dinky do!

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            • #7
              That is so ridiculous you have to laugh. My sister and her partner applied to build a new garage in front of their house. As part of the consent, they had to get a power line technician (the correct terminology eludes me) to confirm that the power lines located across the road (yes they are approximately 10-12 metres away on the other side of the cul-de-sac) will not be interfered with. A morning off work to meet the 'technician' (who was very late), $1000 + gst and probably 20 minutes of the 'technicians' time and they have their permit. When will this stupidity end?

              Comment


              • #8
                When the constituents collectively change from
                apathy to appropriate protest action.
                .
                Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Quite a few years ago I bought a house in Auckland City that had no driveway (and therefore no vehicle crossing across the footpath).
                  I went to the council, and they told me that they could install the concrete crossing across the tarseal footpath for $xxx.
                  I paid them that amount.
                  I then happened to mention that I had arranged for a man with a bulldozer to cut the driveway on my property, and that it would make sense for the council to put the crossing in after the bulldozing work had been completed.
                  "Oh no" they said "if the bulldozer damages the footpath, we'll fine you for the damage".
                  "But I've just paid you to put the crossing in" I said "and so you'll pull up that part of the footpath anyway, damaged or not".
                  "No" they said "we must install the concrete crossing before the driveway is bulldozed, then if that is damaged we will repair it for no extra cost".

                  So that's what happened, and 25 years later the marks from the bulldozer can still be seen.

                  The basis for the whole problem, of course, is that the council has a total monopoly. If you don't like them all you can do is sell the property and get out. If you do that they don't care as they are still able to rort the next owner.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by flyernzl View Post
                    The basis for the whole problem, of course, is that the council has a total monopoly. If you don't like them all you can do is sell the property and get out. If you do that they don't care as they are still able to rort the next owner.
                    Yep that's the crux of the problem right there.
                    Squadly dinky do!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Man Manukau City are doing themselves proud:

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=10654235

                      Goodbye to the council and $85,000
                      The Manukau City Council plans to hold a 10-day, $85,000 farewell to itself before it is replaced by the Super City.
                      A draft timetable for the ratepayer-funded Celebration of Manukau festival, billed as an "event that engages the community in marking the achievements of the council since 1989", includes a dawn ceremony, art, fashion, music and dance events, a car show, drive-in movies, kites and performances by local acts such as the Manukau City Symphony Orchestra.
                      News of the planned $85,000 blow-out follows revelations this week that about $50,000 was spent to send four executives - who have not been offered positions in the Super City - to a leadership seminar at a luxury resort in Queenstown last month.
                      The celebration - from October 21 to 31 - will be paid for with money set aside in the budget for this year's Polyfest Showcase, which has been cancelled.
                      The city's manager of events, Barbara Cox, said last night that the festival was "just an idea at the moment" but she would present a plan to the policy and activities committee on July 6.
                      One idea for a "main event" was a lunch for 1000 VIPs, Ms Cox said.

                      Organisers would also work with local libraries to develop displays depicting Manukau's history.
                      The TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre will be the main venue for festivities, and local activities will be held at other council-managed venues.
                      The Auckland City Council is not planning to celebrate its November 1 demise, but City Vision councillors have accused the Citizens & Ratepayers majority of a "party, party, party" attitude for spending $23,000 to celebrate the opening of the new stand at Eden Park and $122,000 on a Rugby World Cup countdown clock.
                      The Waitakere City Council is planning a bring-your-own-alcohol staff function at the council-owned Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson, and a family day.
                      Entertainment will be provided by staff, and managers and councillors will serve the food.
                      The total cost is estimated at a maximum of $15,000.
                      The North Shore City Council has yet to decide how it will mark the Super City transition.
                      By Alanah May Eriksen | Email Alanah May
                      Squadly dinky do!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's party time as councils say 'goodbye'

                        It's party time as councils say 'goodbye'


                        The Auckland City Council intends spending $87,000 of ratepayers' money on a staff-only farewell bash and 32 smaller department dos before it is replaced by the Super City.
                        Combined with the $120,000 approved this week for a book chronicling the last 20 years of council history, the bill to ratepayers for farewell spending will top $200,000.
                        But the council will be getting a letter from Local Government Minister Rodney Hide asking it to think again.


                        Source
                        Last edited by donna; 21-03-2019, 01:06 PM.
                        Squadly dinky do!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am disgusted, the hipocracy of these people has no limit. To think that they should have a farewell party for themselves, and everyone will support the funding thereoff, is just plain THIEFT AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS. Bet they all get a golden handshake also. The sad thing is they actually believe they deserve it. "I DON'T"

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                          • #14
                            I think a staff function is fine, or a lunch for each team. That's a lot of people who've been working together and now won't be. I wouldn't grudge them a decent leaving lunch. Making them pay for it themselves seems a bit like a kick in the face.

                            But a 10-day community festival? Get real.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              in germany workers pay for their own coffee at break time

                              in japan teachers buy their own rubbers, staplers, rulers as well as their coffee etc.

                              all going away parties are of course paid for by the people attending

                              they are generally considered productive countries

                              nz wants to be a productive country but keep all the trimmings of a generous welfare state

                              not possible
                              have you defeated them?
                              your demons

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