Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Is this how to make a $600 million decision?

Is this how to make a $600 million decision?

by Tom Belford
April 13 2014

www.baybuzz.co.nz/archives/7341

This week, at our Wednesday meeting, Regional Councillors will be asked to set in motion a public consultation process regarding ratepayer investment in the CHB dam.

Here’s what we are expected by HBRC management to base our decision on:

1. A so-called ‘business case’ tabled by HBRIC, the holding company team promoting the scheme. What Councillors (and the public) have seen is a ‘business case’ with no supporting numbers regarding cash flows, sensitivity analyses of differing assumptions or risks, or investment returns. Indeed at this point it is not clear if there even are any investors.

When HBRIC presented its case, I offered a motion, which was voted down 5-4 (I think you can guess that line-up by now), that listed the information we Councillors needed to see and review so as to appropriately evaluate any potential ratepayer investment. I’ve attached the failed motion here.

Call me crazy, but don’t you believe this is the kind of information you would expect me and other Councillors to have and weigh? In fact, shouldn’t such information be available to you?

2. The so-called ‘Nimmo-Bell’ report on alternative investments HBRC might consider to advance economic development goals for the region. This report was so hastily prepared, devoid of information, and lacking in analytic rigour that it was ridiculed by some Councillors, while others apologised to the hapless consultant for giving his team an impossible task. I termed it a ‘fool’s errand’. Even at that, the report concluded that the economic benefits of the scheme — jobs, GDP growth, etc — had been over-stated in HBRIC studies by 20%.

3. And now on Wednesday we are scheduled to receive a verbal ‘interim report’ — that’s right, a verbal report — from our other consultants, Deloitte, who have been charged with giving Councillors (and the public) an independent peer review of the HBRIC ‘business case’. In other words, we’re getting a verbal report reviewing a business case Councillors have yet to see in any reasonable detail!

On the basis of our insights from the above, Councillors will be asked on Wednesday to endorse commencement of a public consultation process that, technically, would test public views on HBRC investing up to $80 million in the proposed dam, but effectively will serve as the public test of proceeding with a $600 million, all in, irrigation scheme in Central Hawke’s Bay.

It would seem that HBRIC and our Regional Council chaperones are determined for Councillors to be as uninformed as possible in making this decision. Do we have ‘STUPID’ stamped on our foreheads or what?!

Indeed, this process has all the elements of a brilliant case study for the Auditor General … How NOT to make a $600 million decision!

I know that some Councillors take our fiduciary duty seriously. They believe as firmly as I do that this process is a travesty. We will do our best to ensure that we and the public are far better informed before we make any kind of decision regarding whether this proposal deserves to go forward to public consultation.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sits at 10.30am today before MPs are summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber.

The speech delivered by the Governor-General on the Government’s behalf outlines its priorities for this Parliament.

After this MPs will return to the House for the presentation of petitions and papers and the introduction of any bills.

The Government has five notices of motion on the Order Paper which can be debated. These relate to relating to the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speakers, the reinstatement of business in a carryover motion and one on “Entities to be deemed public organisations”. More>>

 

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news