Comment received at the post New Mosgiel Pool trust declared —(ready to r**t), published on 11 October 2014.
Rob Hamlin’s letter below is addressed to the Taieri Community Facilities Trust, contactable via the Pooling Together website.
Submitted on 2014/11/26 at 1:28 pm
As a resident of Mosgiel, I have just sent this e-mail to the Trust. Let’s see if they are prepared to engage with me as a member of the community!
I note the claim made in the ODT today that: “Compton Fundraising Group consultants interviewed 30 groups across the Taieri and calculated the communities were willing to contribute $7.5 million for a new facility.”
Now as a professional market researcher and market feasibility research educator I am fascinated by this remarkable calculation. By the simple expedient of dividing the $7.5 million by the number of rateable residences in the catchment I discover that my expected contribution would be between one and two thousand dollars. I am assuming residents will be the primary source of money as the area is not exactly flush with the large businesses that might otherwise stump up this money.
As you are asking the community to make a major decision here, I would expect this Compton report to be available in its entirety with its calculations explicit. This is all the more relevant as the Carisbrook Stadium Trust made a less ambitious donation claim within this same community, but on a less ambitious per capita basis for the Stadium. They eventually ended up delivering pretty much nothing, with the donation shortfall eventually being made up fully by the ratepayer.
If a similar shortfall occurs this time round, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the ratepayers may be asked to stump up again to cover it, and it’s not unfair to predict that this might be funded by a specific targeted rate on the pool’s catchment. In which case the projected $1-2,000 voluntary donation becomes a non-discretionary tax. Were the shortfall to be c. 100% (as in the CST exercise) it would cause considerable hardship within some parts of the Mosgiel community, especially if it was augmented by a large shortfall in your predictions of operational revenue. I would reiterate that both these outcomes have now occurred with regard to the FB Stadium. As many of the poorer residents of Mosgiel are also very elderly, often live alone and are unlikely to be regular users of the pool, this would be a particularly unfair outcome.
As a Taieri resident who may (will) end up carrying the fiscal can for this, I would therefore be grateful if you would furnish me with a full copy of the Compton Fundraising Group report, with summaries of all meetings and descriptions of all thirty of the ‘groups’ who formed the basis of it, plus its calculations that predicts a willing donation of $7.5 million from within the catchment, and a willing $1-2000 donation from me personally.
As this is not a commercial facility proposal, and the research was presumably paid for by your ratepayer (me) funded DCC grant I do not consider ‘commercial sensitivity’ to be a valid reason for withholding it. I would also expect to see it tabled in full at your Coronation Hall meeting in December.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Filed under Business, Construction, CST, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Highlanders, Name, New Zealand, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Town planning, Urban design
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 10:57 13/01/2015 — Dominion Post
Erosion of democratic rights
By Dame Anne Salmond
OPINION In the wake of the shooting of cartoonists and journalists in Paris, political leaders in New Zealand have expressed shock and horror, and their support for those who uphold freedom of expression in other countries.
What about freedom of speech and thought at home, however?
Over the past decade or so, politicians seeking to uphold their own power have abused democratic freedoms in New Zealand. Journalists including Jon Stephenson (for reporting on New Zealand’s involvement in Afghanistan), Andrea Vance (over a suspected leak of a report about the GCSB spy agency), and Nicky Hager (for exposing scurrilous relationships between senior politicians and muck-raking bloggers) have been intimidated and attacked.
While our leaders do not shoot people, they work with others to try to ruin the lives and careers of those who disagree with them. The means may be different, but the intent is the same. One way or another, their critics (however valid their points of view might be) must be silenced.
It is not just outspoken individuals who are at risk. Institutions that are the bulwarks of our democracy have been undermined. Since the 1980s, the civil service, which is supposed to offer informed, impartial advice to politicians, has been brought under ministerial control, and instead of serving civil society now largely serves its political masters.
The freedom of the press has been compromised, for instance in the wake of the teapot tape scandal, when newspaper offices were raided in an effort to prevent the publication of those recordings, or when improper pressure is brought to bear on journalists and media outlets for partisan political purposes.
While H L Mencken defined good journalism as “afflicting the comfortable, and comforting the afflicted”, much journalism in New Zealand now does the opposite. Read more
█ Dame Anne Salmond is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Auckland. She was the 2013 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year.
Anthony Robins at The Standard says:
“Salmond goes on to cover attacks on “The independence of the judiciary and the rule of law”, “Independent statutory bodies”, “Freedom of thought and inquiry in universities and Crown Research Institutes” and “Radical extensions of the powers of the SIS and the GCSB” […] It’s an excellent article, and a depressing summary of the state of NZ.” Link
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Police, Politics