Saturday, 11 June 2016

Consultation in Horowhenua a NO NO

Is Horowhenua a region with water to spare?

Is it a District Council massively in debt and with exploding staff numbers? Answer YES.

Does it have a deaf and dumb Mayor who cancels Annual Plan discussions, and who is a good mate to the local [possibly] illegal police sponsored rowing club which is illegally based at Lake Horowhenua? Answer YES.

And for reasons best kept secret a council which out of the blue and without explanation wreaks havoc on its local public library by destroying the very effective delivery system enjoyed by thousands of users. Answer YES.

Because the Horowhenua Mayor and council have without notice dissolved the Library Trust with Sharon Crosbie at the helm, and Jo Ransom sacked as Chief Librarian – she has won international awards for Kete and Koha. [Go to: ] to learn more.

This slash and burn was done without consultation, but naturally this is considered OK as consultation is not a big thing in Horowhenua District Council area…at least as far as deaf and dumb Mayor Duffy and his CEO are concerned. Without doubt Rosalie Blake as the head of the Friends of the Library must be fuming.

The Friends of the Library are really very upset; read their comments published a little while ago:
Tres: Cath Bennet sec; Margaret Clarke and Chair Diane Brown.

“Diane Brown chair of the Friends of the Library said it is too early to tell whether the decision has affected membership. 
However, some at the meeting expressed anger. Writer Judith Holloway described the council's move as "anti-community".
"I don't think we should take this lying down."
Te Takere library services manager Wendy Fraser said apart from Ransom, everybody who wants a position in the new structure has been offered one. 
She said the facility still depends on volunteer help. 
"I'm very sad things have happened the way they have ... I still strongly and passionately believe in what we're doing, and that hasn't changed with the change of leadership. 
To read the full report go to:

No thinking person can figure out the reason why he has done such a stupid thing, unless the cracks in the basement of the new civic building which according to a letter below are causing more problems than simply leaking floors. In regard to staff this has been increased to 145 – from 60 in 2004.

Check out this letter I received from a Levin resident:

“I have heard that there is a natural spring under the Horowhenua District Council building in Levin which was covered over with concrete. The basement is continually flooding and a pump is running constantly to pump the water out. I have a much better idea for the use of the water. I believe it could be offered to the people of Levin as is done in Lower Hutt and Petone which have natural aquifers. People queue up outside the Dowse Art Gallery in Lower Hutt and at a specific place (just off Petone’s main street) to fill their own containers with water. I believe this would mitigate some of the bad feeling about the poor quality tap water provided to residents in the Horowhenua. Another idea is to make the spring a natural feature in the council building itself. Perhaps turn it into a fountain or even a wishing well. People could throw a coin in and make a wish. Their wishes have more chance of being fulfilled than under the current management of the HDC”.

Off course the Horowhenua District Council is not the only council in financial trouble, although it is or was the second most indebted council in the country back in 2014. Horowhenua along with the bulk of NZ’s population has become little more than urban middle class refugees along with masses of working class poor exploited by both government and local government politicians. Here in the Horowhenua DC the Mayor and Councillors have just granted themselves a wage increase, which sees the Mayors salary, go beyond one hundred thousand dollars…One Hundred thousand bucks for a Mayor of a town the size of Levin…please tell me they are joking…

Well Local Government elections are just around the corner and I hope Horowhenua citizens can find an alternative candidate for Mayor and get behind him or her to toss out once and for all the present unpopular and undemocratic incumbent who seems to be blind to the hardship being faced by the thousands of people who live in his region who have to pay for their education and having done so, can’t find work and finish up with a massive debt…so much for the brighter future…under Duffy.   

The Public Relations spin from the CEO of the HDC is published below, it follows the usual trend of aiming for savings yet gives no real indication of how this will be achieved…this is normal practice for outfits which avoid consultation. It should be noted that the Trust was only given one months’ notice of getting the chop…It’s easy to see why those involved in running the trust and the library feel aggrieved by this dictatorial behaviour. Still this normal behaviour by the Mayor who is in fact the CEO’s boss, maybe that’s simply wishful thinking on my part.

Once I had a connection to Horowhenua, my brother once owned a Butchers shop and later a Pub in Levin, My mother-in-law lived in Levin for many years…I think Levin has the makings of something good, but it needs progressive leadership and a unbiased operational police force that seeks to enforce community laws that assist communities to grow and develop meaningful relationships. It needs a police force that shows by its actual behaviour that it works for the whole region rather than the Mayor and his weird cronies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Peter
"A very good article!"
A quick update - Brendan's precious Rowing club has been recently 'struck off' and are presently storing their equipment in the (HDC owned) soon to be Te Awahou building in Foxton. No doubt complements of Mayor Duffy.
It has now been in excess of 3 consecutive years that mayor Duffy has denied me speaking rights at the monthly council meetings without explaination. He is now expanding this ban to anyone connected with the districts ratepayers association.
( They should rename them 'Brendon's speaking privileges')

I just can't figure why he would shoot an arrow through the heart of his own voting base this close to an election? Something forced his hand on this one!
Thank's Peter, Bryan (Ten Have)