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Councils Response to Consultation

Months ago we asked council to provide proof of consultation with regards to Teitei Drive, we're now starting to get some of that documentation & it paints a very pour picture of council.

On 30th November 2020 council changed the scope of their CIP funding, to supply 6 houses in Moore Street and 44 enabled lots at Teitei Drive. This came 12 days after council adopted their Public & Affordable housing strategy. Evidence shows that council was already heavily involved in the project and was using a consultant Ree Anderson to conjure policies and focus groups to provide evidence of consultation. We know CIP funding was declined in December 2020, but eventually approved December 2021. It should have been at this point that council notified the public of its intensions, rather they waited until they signed an agreement with Kāinga Ora in April 2023, and then only made public on 20th June 2023 on their Facebook page of Teitei intentions due to Official Information Requests having to be answered.

We can confirm that council DID consult from the start on Moore St, Ohakune (6 units owned by council) and that they were planning something in Taumarunui, however as the CEO has stated, there has been no consultation on Teitei Drive and that is starting now [1] [2]. We can confirm that council has never consulted on the sale or gifting of land at any point.

Documents provided to us, show that community discussion groups were held (March 2020 by Key Research Ltd) with 4-6 residents from each town and went over items such as housing, health, social issues, education, etc. We are unsure who chose these 4-6 people, whether they had any conflict of interests. The document stated the specific objectives were:

The purpose of this piece of work was to gather personal experiences, beliefs, perceptions and attitudes of the participants as they related to the seven focus areas identified by RDC as indicators of liveability and wellbeing

The community focus groups are just that and they cannot and do not cover views of ratepayers. Season fluctuations is not a basis for having surplus housing at other times – it is uneconomic and not a function of Council. A key community issue does not make it a Council issue. Policing is a key community issue so is cost of living and neither can be council issues.

When I questioned Ngāti Rangi on the demand and need of housing in the area, they too pointed me to an independent report that showed exaggerated numbers and quotes from people living in the area. When I queried the independent, they confirmed the statistic that Ngāti Rangi was quoting was not a statistic, but rather a quote from a member of the publics point of view on the need for housing.

Council never asked whether they should gift land for affordable housing at any point in time. The housing policy, which only received 21 submissions (of which only 60% were in support), did not state that council would be gifting rate payer land.

On 8 June 2023 a Development Partners meeting was held and it is stated that "housing is no longer matched to demand"

It would appear that RDC & KO are running off social portals and reports from residents and taking the word of those few people over the rate payers fitting the bills each year. There is no hard evidence, if there was, it would be reflected in the MSD register, which currently only has 12 people in Ohakune in need of houses and 72 in the entire district, with everyone agreeing housing is needed in Taumarunui as even council documents state that. Teitei was just chosen as a location they could use funding being provided by government, but all evidence shows that it was not a good fit, until they realised it was the only place they could spend the money in the timeframe they had to meet.

So all evidence to date, still shows council trying to defend their actions, but no concrete evidence will stack up as adequate consultation in the views of a judge. You can't take consultation on a project and shift it to another and believe approval is open ended.

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