Aim, Fire…Miss

19 Sep

Sadly, the article regarding directors on CCO’s missed its target.  Not only was Powernet missed out altogether, the conflict issue was not really dealt with.

And it has not been candidates asking

For weeks city council candidates have demanded the remuneration current Invercargill City Councillors receive for council-controlled organisation directorships.  

Any candidate with any knowledge what local government is knows exactly where and how to get the info.  Incredibly, some candidates claimed to not knowing that councillors were paid as councillors.

Given, it is election time there is unlimited misinformation being said.  Multiple first-time candidates and an incumbent councillor have claimed that ‘we need council represented at the board table’ or similar.  The Companies Act and the company’s constitution does not allow that.  When you sit on a board you represent the needs of that company or organisation.  You cannot be a board member and serve a different organisation’s needs, hence the CONFLICT.

Sycamore should also be pulled up on the fact that he serves on Holdco (for $30,300) and its subsidiary Invercargill City Property (another $15,240).  Electricity Invercargill has the same situation with Boniface and Ludlow paid AGAIN to serve on subsidiary Powernet.

Someone should also tell Sycamore that Venture Southland tried to become a company and submissions did not support it.  It is NOT a CCO, it is a joint committee.


16 Sep

I want progress in Invercargill/Southland.  It is important that the residents achieve some progress in their lives, too.  Rate increases need to be considered very carefully.  With that in mind, I hope the Inner City Development in public excluded at the extraordinary meeting on Tuesday 20 September is relating to a private investor who has plans for a ‘inner city development’.  Given, it is not a full council meeting, and is the Finance and Policy committee, I doubt that is the case.


At a monetary level, the Significance Policy claims that only unbudgeted capital expenditure over $5 million requires consultation.

Council will consider the magnitude of the decision in terms of its net cost to Council. Most major spending decisions will be made in the context of the LTP or Annual Plan. As a general guide, any individual decision involving more than $5 million of unbudgeted capital expenditure or $500,000 of unbudgeted annual operating costs may be
regarded as significant.
The policy has separate items (A-H) that could deem an issue/project ‘significant’.  I could easily play devil’s advocate, using their logic, to allow a project to go ahead.  Add to that, Cllr Arnold has said that the ‘next council will have to be brave’ as she raved about SoRDS.  She also said, to me, about there being $XX (6 or 12?)million for CBD upgrade.  I hope she wasn’t thinking the ICC could spend the targeted rate money on something other than what was consulted on?
I suppose we should be happy that it will also require a full council meeting before it can be progressed but given how close the election is, and that most people will have sent their voting papers in by the end of September, we may have a do or die mentality by the time an Extraordinary Council meeting comes about.
I hope this will not cause a rate increase that we have not been prepared for.

Tabled Docs

14 Sep

After submitting to council a few years ago about tabled documents not being easy to access, ICC started uploading them after the meeting to their website.  It is nice to effect some change but sadly it is erratic, at best.  The last full council meeting prior to the elections was yesterday.  Upon entering I collected six documents.  I see ICC have uploaded one, the Mayors’ Report.

Because I believe information should be shared, here are the others.






You will see the St John’s grant report there (second to last).  As my previous post said, they asked for $30,000.  Their budget showed $35,000 appx in fees to ICC.  Our council claimed to be showing leadership to other funders by giving $100,000.  I have tea to prepare because I am going out tonight but before I sign off I will point out that some councillors did (finally) suggest that fees be waived for St John’s build.  Sadly, no decision was made on that and they just decided on Option 2 and moved on.  As someone who struggles to pay their rates, I am not happy that ICC gave more of OUR money than was requested.  I do not believe that view demeans the worthy organisation that St John’s is but I do believe it is not necessary.  Council is funding more and more none local government related items.  It is of great concern to me.

St John and The Invercargill City Council

7 Sep

I was able to get along to the Finance and Policy meeting yesterday.  I had pre-read the agenda luckily (because none were available).  I was interested to see what the committee would decide with regard to the $2.2 million dollar St John’s hub.  St John’s were asking for a one-off $30,000 grant.



Most likely 2018, seemingly

St John’s are, of course, a worthy cause and discussion to that effect ensued.  It came up that the Coastguard got $50K and Thomas suggested that this was more relevant to the general population and a six-figure amount may be appropriate.  Boniface was very quick to suggest $30K from reserves.  It then followed that they could give $30K now and add more to the Annual Plan for consultation.  Monies allocated over two years was raised, etc.  In the end, it was decided that Mr King come back with a report about the reserve account and what they could spare.  They are all aware that $480K was just put in there by the way.

I do not consider reserve accounts as petty cash or slush funds.  I see them as an emergency ‘overdraft’.  For using when something comes up that they couldn’t have prepared for, or similar.  This funding can be delayed as they are not in an immediate need of the funds (they said that at the meeting).

What flabbergasts me is this


NO-ONE said, “how about we direct staff to waive ALL fees”?  OMG!!

Instead, they sat around claiming that giving reserve money would show leadership to the ‘other funders’.  Do CTOS and ILT and The Lotteries Commission make their decisions based on what ICC fund?  I doubt it.

And by the way, this project does not need ‘leadership’, it is being led by St John’s.  It is their project.  How about you support them?  The confidence in knowing that they will not have to worry about building fees will do just that.  That is how I see councils, as a support team.  When the Tour of Southland comes through, I see the many support vehicles.  Officials, making sure there are no obstacles in the way and vans alongside, or bringing up the rear, ready with water and the likes.  That is what I see the role of council as, providing support.  The limelight and leadership should not come into it.




Who Knows

6 Sep

There seem to be mixed messages at Council.  Some claim there is a new building planned yet others claim no knowledge.  I do find this interesting, too.

On Tuesday he said “it (the plans) has not really progressed any further because SoRDS are also looking at the site to do redevelopment in the inner city.” 

I am a little flummoxed as to how SoRD’s is to be implemented and how much money ICC will throw at it just to ensure it doesn’t fail.  ICC own the Esk Street properties.  So if SoRD’s have redevelopment plans for it, will ICC just do it?

Candidate Profiling

5 Sep

I see the Invercargill City Council have uploaded everyone’s profile statements.  I haven’t read all of them yet.  Enjoy.

More Golf At Queens Park

2 Sep

I am happy to see a very good proposal in the Infrastructure agenda from Disc Golf South.

They lay out three courses in Invercargill for various levels of play.


The recommendation includes a statement that the club fund it themselves – totally agree.  They are focussing on the family-friendly Queens Park one at present.  The $25K figure is not excessive in the scheme of things.  I would expect $3-$5K as a realistic figure from the Active Communities Funding Scheme.  We are so blessed in Southland to have CTOS and ILT and ILT Foundation (my family in Wellington are very jealous).  I would hope for at least $10K from them collectively.  Maybe $1,000 from Sport Southland (Kiwisport – priority #4).   There are many options, Lotteries Commission (time restrictive though), NZCT…Give-A-Little, maybe NRG would help out.  The possibilities are endless.

I am a big believer in groups funding a portion of their project.  I would possibly even put my hand up to help if they want it.  The demographics of Disc Golf are varied and that is why I think it is a great addition to the community.  I look forward to seeing how council treat this.