LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story

Worse, Our Daaave is dumb enough to listen to Lawrence, cronies….

### whaleoil.co.nz February 2, 2015 at 4:30pm
Lawrence Yule wants more of your money
By Cameron Slater
There is a storm coming for local councillors, and for some, the clouds are only going to get darker, particularly as they start eyeing up next year’s local government elections. Local Government New Zealand today released a discussion paper about how they can get hold of more of your money. This is all being spun on the basis that more funding is required to meet the increased demand for services and infrastructure. Quick out of the blocks was the Taxpayers Union who pumped out a release ‘LGNZ Push For Local Income Taxes, Fuel Taxes and Regional GST’.
Read more


2 February 2015

The Taxpayers’ Union is furious that council lobby group, Local Government New Zealand, is spending ratepayer money on a campaign promoting local income taxes, regional fuel taxes and regional GST-style regimes to increase the tax burden of local councils. LGNZ launched a review document on various options for new taxes this morning.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:
“New Zealand’s average rates bill has doubled in the last 20 years, tracking at twice the rate of inflation. Instead of focusing on the quality of councils’ spending decisions, this campaign is using ratepayer money on propaganda promoting new taxes.”

“LGNZ is a taxpayer funded lobby group representing the interests of councils. Nowhere in the discussion paper do we see a disciplined analysis of why local government spending is out of control.”

“This campaign is so blatant that LGNZ spin doctors are sending Mayors draft opinion pieces so local politicians can ‘leverage local media’ and promote these new taxes. The Taxpayers’ Union has been forwarded some of the emails by elected officials who are concerned LGNZ is overstepping the mark.”
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
14.1.15 DCC Draft Long Term Plan: more inanity from Cull’s crew pending
13.1.15 Government’s council tax freeze
27.11.14 Auditor-general Lyn Provost #Resign
3.11.14 DCC: What happened to $20 million cash on hand? #LGOIMA
10.10.14 Cull consorts with losers at LGNZ
8.10.14 Stadium: Liability Cull warns ratepayers could pay more to DVML
18.9.14 DCC considers sale of “149 properties”
5.8.14 DCC staff-led CBD projects that impact ratepayers….
30.7.14 Dunedin City Council | Consolidated council debt
5.7.14 DCC’s debt level — who do you believe?
26.6.14 LGNZ #blaggardliars
23.6.14 DCC Annual Plan 2014/15 + Rugby and Rates
12.6.14 Fairfax Media [not ODT] initiative on Local Bodies
11.4.14 Councils: Unaccountable, ready to tax? #DCC #ORC
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ….
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
7.10.13 DCC councillors, no idea annual cost of owning, operating FB Stadium
29.9.13 Alert: Dunedin voters —Mayors gain more powers
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
26.9.13 DCC: Council consolidated debt $623 million
21.4.13 Councils “in schtook” —finance & policy analyst Larry Mitchell
29.10.12 DCC consolidated debt substantially more than $616m to June 30, 2012
30.5.12 Larry Mitchell: 2012 Local Govt League Table Summary
4.7.11 Local government finances

█ For more, enter the terms *dcc*, *dchl*, *annual plan*, *long term plan*, *stadium* or *dvml* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics

17 responses to “LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story

  1. Cars

    Lawrence Yule is a typical example of the horrors that were predicted in George Orwell’s classic. These idiots cannot run their organisations and pay for the intended purpose of their existence, infrastructure, roads, sewage treatment, rubbish collection, because they are too intent upon building stadia, creating cycleways on roads nobody wants to ride on and upgrades to the Octagon , amongst a host of other measures all creating work for themselves and impoverishing ratepayers. Rise up the populace and protest soon or else all our nightmares about bureaucracy will become daymares.

  2. Mick

    You say ‘Worse, Our Daaave is dumb enough to listen to Lawrence, cronies…’. They don’t need further encouragement from the likes of Yule.
    There is plenty of precedence for this type of local government ‘tax by stealth’. Classic examples are the rubbish collection and tip charges that once were part of the ‘rates’ bill but are now ‘user pays’. The problem was that the ‘rates’ bill was never reduced in compensation for that little trick. I would suggest that the doubling of the rates bill has not so much to do with legitimate costs for infrastructure as the burgeoning desire of bureaucrats to interfere with and impose their collective will to control more and more of people’s lives than ever. For example, Dunedin has not grown in population to any significant extent for a century, but the DCC administration has grown since around the year 2000 from about 450 FTE (full time equivalents) to around 700. Why? Well I would suggest that a large proportion of that cost is to do with bureaucratic bloat. The desire to ‘make work’. It is a result of its bloated notion of its own importance and its fixation to control our lives. This idea of Laurence Yule is very dangerous because it opens to door to an even greater expansion of bureaucratic excess at our expense. If rates have grown at twice the rate of inflation then the first responsibility of local government is to restore the balance. Not gather more income by deceit.

  3. Calvin Oaten

    “The right incentives and resources must be in place to enable councils to drive growth.” It is not council’s business to drive growth! It is council’s business to provide at the lowest possible cost, the supply and maintenance of strategic facilities such as water, sewage, rubbish collection and roading. It also should effectively run the social amenities side of a city such as libraries, swimming pool, playing fields for amateur activities etc.
    It is not the council’s function to do any but the essentials so as to leave the citizen/ratepayers with the lowest operating costs to “drive growth”. It is what is known as a free market system.
    Mick is correct in saying that the city’s population growth has been largely negative for a significant time yet rates charges have been increasing rapidly way beyond inflation over all of this current century. He points out that in 2000 the staff level was some 450 FTE (full time equivalent) to around 700 today. It is worse than that when you consider that those 450 FTEs represented our in house engineering building design administration services which are all now largely farmed out to independent consultants. We have seen the results of the loss of control of our essentials. One only has to look at the St Clair Sea Wall to understand that. So the question is, what now do all of the 700 people do? They do what is expected, dream up ways and means of screwing the city and in the process bankrupting it.
    It is worth noting that in 2001 the city’s net debt was $36 million. Ten years later it was $360 million. This was due to rampant borrow and spend projects such as the Stadium, the Town Hall Conference Centre and the Otago Settlers Museum Upgrade. All, what Cr Vandervis once described as “Vanity Projects”. This was all expedited by former CEO Jim Harland and his coterie of “senior managers”.
    Successive mayors and councillors have, by their delinquent approach to prudent financial management, aided and abetted the development of this spendthrift culture. Our incumbent, Dave Cull came to the position promising open government and a programme of debt reduction. He was implacably opposed to the Stadium project prior to and becoming an elected councillor. A total about face on this issue and the pursuit of rampant popularism saw him win the mayoralty and it has been all madness since. Substantial finangling of the Stadium finances in order to disguise the truth, a bulldoze over majority interests for expenditure of some $47 million to create a complex cycleway system throughout the city and environs for what is demonstrably a minor section of the populace. The ballooning out of the City’s consolidated debt to some $620 million, with the demanding of dividends from the ‘DCHL companies’, even compelling them to increase their debt to facilitate that. The directors of DCHL have thankfully put a stop to that, saying dividends can now only be from genuine trading profits. This of course will not register in the minds of the mayor and councillors, as we can already see in the deliberations over the new Annual Plan. No hint of cut backs or deferring of projects, but carry on as before. Citizens are now conditioned to seeing the council and administration taking more control over their lives and now we hear that the Local Government New Zealand CEO is proposing to Central Government that the local authorities be given the right to impose taxes for services over and above rates. And terrifyingly, I believe PM John Key is warm to the idea.

  4. Elizabeth

    “Across-the-board, wholesale restructure or reform of the way local government is funded is not something we have on the agenda at this time.” –John Key PM

    ### 3news.co.nz Tuesday 3 Feb 2015 5:00 a.m.
    ‘Wholesale’ local govt funding reform not on agenda – Key
    By Simon Wong – Online Reporter
    The Government has no plans of restructuring local government funding in the wake of a discussion report into how to meet the growing shortfall, Prime Minister John Key says. […] Mr Key says the Government would be “very reluctant” to allow local councils to impose measures such as income taxes.”One concern we would have is if we open the floodgates to a whole range of other taxes and ways of funding local government, then the cost could dramatically go up, the services wouldn’t necessarily actually improve and you could see consumers paying a lot more so we’re just very conscious of that issue,” he said at his post-Cabinet press conference yesterday. “We have to be cautious about the amount of impost we put on ratepayers because in the end they’ve got a lot of costs coming at them and we have to make sure their money isn’t being wasted.”
    Read more

    █ Submissions on the discussion paper close on March 27, with the final report due mid-year.

  5. Elizabeth

    John Key’s government, co-funder of Fubar Stadium…. results in Dunedin ratepayers facing ever increasing rates hikes, greater service charges (with less service) and asset sales. Don’t mention THE WATER ASSET.

  6. Rob Hamlin

    The word ‘terrifying’ about local income taxes is right. It is often said that rates are unfair to low income people who own property, which is true to a degree, but everybody lives somewhere, and thus everybody get to pay a share.

    Now if we move to income tax what happens. Well, I believe that about two thirds of these who own $50 million or more of assets in this country don’t pay the top rate of tax – which kicks in at a reported income of some $50,000. One of the issues about the OECD is that more and more wealth is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands, and increasingly that wealth is taking a permanent ‘holiday’ from contributing its fair share to taxes. As this wealth is now a very large percentage of the total wealth available – such ‘holidays’ significantly hurt the rest of us.

    This ‘holidaying’ obviously requires clever accountants and compliant legislators. One of the first things that this Government did was repeal the gifts tax, which stopped assets being ‘magiced away’ and out of the tax system. Massive amounts of this country’s wealth were instantly thus ‘magicked’ out of the tax system, and were in no small part responsible for the fact that this Government immediately started to run a large deficit which had to be dealt with by austerity for the masses.

    If this happens at a local level, you will see a similar effect. The mansions along the Chain Hills, Waverley, Maori Hill, Macandrew Bay and elsewhere will suddenly pay zilch into the DCC – Why – because according to their tax returns their occupants will be ‘too poor to pay’. Unfortunately, that won’t apply to the rest of us middling folk on PAYE. It would be hard to do the calculations (and that lack of transparency is another reason not to go with local income taxes), but if I have to support the rich as well as the poor, I can’t see how my personal bill can’t fail to double.

    The poor won’t end up paying any less as I think it is EXCEEDINGLY unlikely that landlords (who’s accountants will be also telling the IRD that they are very poor as well – those luxury Chain Hills business premises with offices with panoramic views of the Taieri, commercial grade kitchens and jacuzzi’s to entertain business clients and horse stables to house horses used to inspect rental properties don’t come cheap remember) would start paying rental rebates to tenants to cover the rates that the landlords would no longer themselves be paying.

    As our political system is now set up primarily to serve those two ends of society, but especially the poor, poor poverty stricken rich, I also can’t see how it can fail to happen, as it is most definitely in their interests for it to do so.

  7. Cars

    Rob, the answer is not to rob the rich as equally as the poor (paye) taxpayer, but these thieves that RECEIVE the taxes that ever increase must be brought down to reality.

    A DCC chief executive is a people manager’s role, whatever could justify over $200,000 for such a position except some form of unrealistic comparison. Once the top payment is reduced then ultimately line managers can be paid in the $75-$115k pa. Thus reducing the DCC wage bill to manageable proportions. Now if there are some managers who believe that they are worth more and want to move on, well hallelujah, goodbye and not replaced.

    The only answer for councils is to reduce their labour costs and live within their means as Paye earners have had to do over the last twenty years with little or no wage rises for those required to pay rates and now suggested increased local taxes.

    • Elizabeth

      Cars, read an old newspaper today as I was filing cuttings – therein an item celebrating former general manager Grant Strang’s demise from DCC. It said staff on the then executive management team (now known as the executive leadership team) were paid between $180,000 and $220,000 pa.

      At an earlier comment I said: “17.10.11 – Grant Strang fired or given options. Lump-sum payment: $167,527.” Link

  8. Elizabeth

    “I’m quite happy for them to have a conversation about funding, as long as they’re equally having one about spending.” –Paula Bennett

    ### NZ Herald Online 7:17 PM Tuesday Feb 3, 2015
    Cash-strapped councils need to look at spending – Bennett
    By Patrice Dougan – NZME (Auckland)
    Cash-strapped local councils should take a closer look at their spending before seeking more funding or introducing new taxes, Local Government Minister Paula Bennett says.
    It follows the release of a discussion paper by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) yesterday, which said new ways of raising funds were needed to address the deficit as the cost of infrastructure soars. It suggested some radical options, such as creating new local income taxes or a payment of gas and coal royalties to councils.
    But Ms Bennett today said the Government would not be interested in creating more taxes.
    Read more

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    She’s got a reasonable quantity of gritty commonsense, that Paula Bennett. It still survives despite her years of MP status, Minister even, without mutating into power-crazed notions of omniscience.

  10. Elizabeth

    ### whaleoil.co.nz February 11, 2015 at 3:30pm
    When will Local Government stop telling porkies?
    By Cameron Slater
    Local government is spinning like a top, this time it is Craig Stobo trying to pull the wool. New Zealand territorial authorities have assets of $117.4 billion yet extremely low debt levels of only $10.8 billion, says a financial chief. Craig Stobo, chairman of council funder the Local Government Funding Agency which finances many councils, revealed the numbers at a briefing yesterday, saying those ratios proved councils were extremely financially cautious.

    “Councils in New Zealand are conservatively geared. That indicates they’re prudent financial managers and their communities should be grateful,” Stobo said.

    Firstly this is nothing but PR spin by a local government organisation. They know that they are under attack for crap financial performance and high debt. But assets of $100b plus? I don’t think so.
    Read more

  11. Cars

    Generally assets can be described as income earners, liabilities as income negative. So can anyone explain to me how you would quantify the stadium as an asset, the sewage system as an asset (maintenance costs negative), roading as an asset, again maintenance costs, so the council companies, but they cannot provide a dividend!

    Any reasonable business person would quantify most of the so-called council assets as liabilities, including many of the staff, because if they are not responsible for initiating good outcomes for the ratepayers, what real use are they.

  12. Elizabeth

    Whaleoil into Mayor of Hastings Lawrence Yule and his Hastings District Council…..

    Why is Lawrence Yule allowing this? – see post, photo and comments. February 12, 2015 at 9:00am

  13. Elizabeth

    Local Government New Zealand’s chief executive Malcolm Alexander wants more debate on how to sustainably fund local councils.

    ### ODT Online Mon, 16 Mar 2015
    Chance to debate councils’ funding
    By Malcolm Alexander
    OPINION LGNZ published our Local Government Funding Review discussion paper a month ago, as a bit of a conversation starter. A key purpose of the paper was to encourage New Zealanders to think about the wide range of services delivered by their councils, and in particular to think about the level of service they expect from council-provided infrastructure (especially roading and water infrastructure, the value of which runs to many billions of dollars). Having understood the breadth of what councils deliver for their communities, the country could then have a rational debate about how best to sustainably fund these services. Feedback has come from all corners and I look forward to, and encourage, more submissions before March 27 when the consultation period closes.
    Read more

    • Cars

      One perhaps would consider greater assistance for councils if they had diligently prepared for road, water and infrastructure maintenance, instead we have been confronted by ridiculous social engineering, squandered funds on land development, and a white elephant stadium unsuitable for anything but a winter sport, losing $20 million plus pa in running costs and a lost fortune in interest repayments. Citizens of New Zealand must now deny any additional funding and ensure rate rises are kept within inflationary bands. Any other action is theft from the populace by greedy local government staff who have basically stuffed up their real brief. To look after the assets of the city if there are any.

  14. Elizabeth

    ### whaleoil.co.nz March 31, 2015 at 5:30pm
    Is Lawrence Yule’s legacy project rooted?
    By Cameron Slater
    Local Government NZ chairman and Hasting Mayor Lawrence Yule has staked his legacy on amalgamating the Hawkes Bay Councils. He has faced vigorous opposition from the three other mayors in Hawkes Bay, and a well funded, well run anti amalgamation campaign by Labour MP Stuart Nash.
    Yule got sledged by Napier Mayor Bill Dalton, and was too slow witted to come back with the obvious response that the status quo was proven not to work.
    Read more

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