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

 

More and more spent by Horowhenua on economic development

Horowhenua District Council spent almost $1.3 million on economic development activity between June 2016 and March 2018.

Council's Annual Report states $804,000 was spent on economic development in 2016-2017 and $491,000 has been spent so far this financial year. Council’s nine month report states $717,000 was the forecasted budget to the end of March.


Council’s economic development activities are based on a 2015 report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) that targets “relatively” cheap land and low/stagnant wages as two of the main economic advantages of doing business in Horowhenua if an expressway was built past Levin. The report was commissioned by the Council and Economic Development Board.

Chief financial officer Doug Law said in a six month report to the Finance, Audit and Risk committee in February that 90 percent of the economic development work plan for this year would be completed by December 2017 but only 30 percent was. Mr Law said he would report on, "our achievement/non-achievement at June 2018" in his eleven month financial report but he didn’t. Mr Law has not responded to requests for comment on the omission.

He also said, "Capital expenditure within the Property activity is tracking higher than budgeted…primarily due to unbudgeted expenditure, including the Durham Street site clearance, and an unplanned property purchase."

The Durham Street site clearance refers to the demolition of the 100 year old former Jack Allen House in Levin’s Central Business District, one of five land lots between 15-23 Durham Street sold for $980,000 by Council to BOHR Property Ltd on November 14, 2017 for a new medical centre.

BOHR Property Ltd is listed as a property rental company and all but four of the shares are owned by company director Johannes Roberti, an environmental scientist turned business development manager and husband of (GP) Dr Bente Christine Ongkiehong, who co-owns the Cambridge Street Medical Centre in Levin. She is also a director of BOHR Property Ltd.

Dr Ongkiehong and Mr Roberti have not responded to requests for an interview to explain why the company is listed as a property rental company rather than with a “community health centre operation” or “Clinic - medical - general practice” industry classification.

Information has also been sought from Council about the “unplanned property purchase” as a report by economic development manager Shanon Grainger said council should support the establishment of the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust, “because Councils are not expert professional commercial property developers or managers.”

Council also intends transferring up to 40 percent of public assets to the Trust which would be sold on the open market for seed funding. Chief executive David Clapperton says the first group of properties to be transferred in the next few months will be worth about $7 million.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

West Coast PGF Announced: Kickstart For Ports, Rail, Town

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is backing the West Coast with initial investment in projects that could lift the region’s productivity potential and future-proof its economy.
The PGF government will invest $625,000 in four feasibility studies for proposals that would boost tourism, increase transport resilience and generate employment opportunities.
More>>

 

Moving On: Flavell Leaves Māori Party TO Lead Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

The Māori Party congratulates Te Ururoa Flavell on his appointment as Kaiurungi - Chief Executive Officer of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and thanks him for his many years of service, support and aroha for the Māori Party, its kaupapa, and for communities across Aotearoa. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 2016 Armed Offenders Response: 'Serious Failings' Put Officers At Risk

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the tactical decision-making and control and command exercised by Police in response to shots fired near Kawerau on 9 March 2016 was highly flawed and placed Police officers at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: National Offers Cross-Party Action

National is not prepared to let the Government park the mental health needs of Kiwis while it holds an inquiry, and has offered to work together to improve New Zealand’s mental health services both immediately and longer term, Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey says. More>>

ALSO:

Extradited To Deportation: 'Justice Not Served' In Australia Muddle

A number of New Zealanders who have been extradited to Australia to face charges - only to be sent back here or put in immigration detention centres - is concerning, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

ASMS: Syphilis Deaths Highlight Need For Proper Resourcing

“The heart-wrenching news that babies have died from syphilis underscores yet again the importance of properly funding and resourcing essential health services... This should not be happening in a quality first-world public health care system like New Zealand’s.” More>>

ALSO:

'Don't Mess This Up': Youth Message On Zero Carbon Act

The young New Zealanders credited with driving momentum for a Zero Carbon Act have formally handed over their submission on the proposed law to MPs from the Labour, Green and National parties. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages