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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    8,293

    Default 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 at 12:05 PM. Reason: link broken

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Hastings
    Posts
    14,757

    Default

    "And who will regulate the local regulators?"

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

    "Right.

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


    .
    With all the Draconian new laws for residential rental LLs, perhaps AirBnB would be better? To avoid any hassle in Hawke's Bay, consult Be My Hostess. Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    171

    Default

    Quote 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 .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    1,237

    Default

    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.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    North Shore City
    Posts
    342

    Default

    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    8,293

    Default 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.

  7. #7

    Default

    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?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Hastings
    Posts
    14,757

    Default

    When the constituents collectively change from
    apathy to appropriate protest action.
    .
    With all the Draconian new laws for residential rental LLs, perhaps AirBnB would be better? To avoid any hassle in Hawke's Bay, consult Be My Hostess. Want a great looking concrete swimming pool in Hawke's Bay? Designer Pools will do the job for you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    2,999

    Default

    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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    8,293

    Default

    Quote 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.


 

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