Guest Blog

22 Dec

I am fortunate enough to be able to share someone else’s thoughts, rather than just my own.  I haven’t got time to provide links right now.  Here is the original article though for those not up to speed on ICC’s foray into property development (’cause Awarua and Esk St East have been soooo successful).

From hereon in is our guest:-)

Private Commercial Property Developers not required in Invercargill City CBD

That’s basically the message the Invercargill City Council’s recent announcement that it is now going to become a commercial property developer could be sending to potential local and outside investors.

This despite the fact that the ICC’s very own Investment Property Activity Management plan stating the activity “DOES NOT” include development.

It also states the activity is self funding and makes its money through the sale of property and re-investment, and that it will not require any additional capital funding. And based on some of this the public do not get consulted on the plan as it has a positive effect on rates.

So what has happened? There was absolutely nothing in the Long Term Plan consultation document to state that the ICC were significantly changing how its Investment Property Activity operated, or was funded, nor that they were going to become commercial property developers in their own right.

All of these points are something the public should have been consulted on and should have been able to have their say. The ICC by all accounts believe they have done this, they point to page 275 of the LTP which states “Council is investigating development opportunities at 16 Don Street with funding set aside in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 years.”

All well and good, apart from the fact that the LTP was not a publicly consulted on document, it was the after effect of consultation and only became public post adoption.

Despite this, that very statement simply implies they are investigating options which is actually part of what the function does, it could then look to sell the concept on to private investors/developers in line with its function, that statement itself does not state they are going to become developers.

If the ICC wish to try page 275 as their Clayton’s attempt at saying they have consulted then page 269 would probably put this to rest as it states the activity contributes by “Investment Property supports appropriate commercial and economic development in the District environs through the purchase, sale and/or lease of land. Investment Property maintains and administers commercial, industrial, residential, rural and retail property that supports economic growth.

I don’t see anywhere within those contributors a statement that says it will be the Developer.

Residents should be concerned with the ICC trying to become a commercial property developer, firstly because they haven’t even given the public the courtesy of being consulted in any meaningful way, but more so because it sends a very bad message to potential investors/developers that the City Council is prepared to step in and conduct the commercial development required in Invercargill.

Private developers can not compete with a councils ability to source cheap finance, backed by rates, how many other rather sad and sorry buildings in the Invercargill CBD will end up in council ownership and development down the track if the ICC continue on their path of being developers?

The signals being sent are wrong, by all means the ICC should be looking at what can be done, investigating options, but should then be acting in accordance with their plans and looking at passing these opportunities over to private investors and developers to draw them to the city and encourage outside investment as let’s face it, the public can ill afford to end up being the major property owners within the CBD, nor should they want to be.

How To Get Money Out Of Council

21 Dec

Observer’s comment highlighted the Event Development Fund (unknown to me)and then as I was reading the Governance Statement I came across it!

events dev

The name has evolved over time by the looks of it

On the same topic, I requested a copy of the Event Fund Application Form.  ICC responded within 5 minutes – woohoo!  They also included the Events Committee Terms of Reference

 

Follow Up Time

21 Dec

As our council goes into sleepy mode I thought I would do a follow up on what has been going on with the Venture Southland Charitable Trust.  You’ll have to read this article first though probably.    Because it was ‘confidential’ we don’t know the outcome though but with the power of Google I see Venture Southland are still receiving monies under the charitable trust name.

vsct

vsct in 2015

And let’s not forget they are a shareholder

vs co

They Nearly Slipped By My Radar

20 Dec

ICC have a couple of trusts and as I mentioned the other day, Invercargill City Charitable Trust have failed to fulfill their obligations to the Charities Commission.  Thanks to Screechinghousewife (welcome to the blog) I reread parts of the Annual Report.  I totally forgot about Invercargill Community Sport and Recreation Trust.  They only have one set of finances due (which I have requested) but I found an item that interested me.  $100K to the Southland Indoor Leisure Centre Charitable Trust.  I wonder if that will be an ongoing thing?  Read some historical financials of the recreation trust, very enlightening.

Never Looks Good…

19 Dec

… when you put some things in a timeline.

29 October 2013 – Inaugural meeting of council

inaug

22 January 2014 – Task Ltd incorporated

becs

18 February 2014 – Ceases being a trustee of Heritage South

becs

20 April 2015 – Invoice date for work from September 2014 – April 2015

inv

Here are some comments from the chair of Heritage South in the Accountability Report

accountability

It should be noted that a trustee was  being paid  according to the declared dates.

Here are the costs

costs

The funny thing is this blog post has been sitting in my drafts.  As a by-product of another request (link has full PE minutes) this came through

ya thinkThe full minutes show another sad situation.  The ICC was approached before ILT.  ILT has legal responsibilities regarding funding (for pokie money at least) yet they approach the ratepayer first?  Add to that, they are only an umbrella organisation.  The actual organiser should front up with a letter of support and authority from the trustees of the umbrella organisation.

Moral compass – skewed.

UPDATE: Forgot to mentioned why this post was in my drafts.  I was a) pondering the ‘appropriateness’ and b) waiting to see how this (see below) played out.

task

It wouldn’t look good if you started up a company, took the pay and shut it down…well it wouldn’t to me.

Update

18 Dec

I have updated the Iconic Events summation post.  It now includes some public excluded minutes that were supplied today.  Here is a direct link to them or read the UPDATE under Festival of the Arts.

Too True

18 Dec

As always, a great letter from Mr Clark

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