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RDC's supposed consultation, my views

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

The basis of RDC assuming they had free reign to build at Teitei drive, comes back to this very document from September 2020, what they believe was consultation on what the are doing. There were 21 submissions to council which can be viewed here

See further down for my comments on the submissions...

My comments on the RDC Proposal document

  1. We all agree that social housing is needed and people deserve a roof over their head. I don't believe anyone who owns a property neighbouring the Teitei development would have ever completed the form on page 13 stating they were apposed to the grant and the building of social housing.

  2. What this document doesn't elude to, is that they believed it gave them additional powers to sell rate payer land without consultation. That they would not consult with the public on the plans for housing options; that Teitei Drive project would be kept from the public, even with an OIA request and a submission to the Ombudsman.

  3. It doesn't state that there would be an intensified 44 LOT subdivision (stage 1) with potential 157 LOT in stage 2 & 3.

  4. It's a very vague consultation (where submissions even stated confusion over the questions); that if everyone knew what councils intention were, we would have probably voted against it.

  5. I note that says "Council does not intend to build houses" but would do a proof of concept.

  6. The document states $1.4m would be used for the proof of concept, however KO has admitted $2.1m was used to develop the 6 units on Moore Street, which was build ready land with services at the boundary; thats an average $350,000 spent on building each one of these units, before land costs. These units at 13 Moore Street, consist of 5 x 1 bedroom & 1 x 2 bedroom, at a cost of $350k build for each unit; and $700k over budget for just 6 units!

  7. The document states that council would "Increase access to wrap around services", what evidence can be provided that any of this has been done; this document is 3 years old and we still don't have a local GP!

  8. "The proposed Strategy aims to maintain rates neutrality", how can this be when the rates take is unlikely to cover the maintenance costs of the proposed Teitei drive stormwater etc. There is also going to be costs to upgrade the intersection into the subdivision from Ohakune-Raetihi Rd, which Kainga Ora has already stated is too expensive & the reason they didn't start building at Field 2 in the first place.

  9. The document talks about the funding of $7.78m, but did not give any information about the terms of the funding & that they were "selling their soul to the devil", such that 44 LOTs was the minimum build size to receive the funding; if this was provided at the time of consultation, or if RDC had been transparent, we wouldn't be here.

  10. Once further information on the funding requirements came through; Council should have done further consultation, to advise rate payers the risks vs reward; that we would be giving up high value land right next to the carrot park, only because the original build site had a land claim placed over it; but still consultation is key!

  11. The Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) requires Council to consult with affected and interested parties in making decisions. Before implementing changes, options analysis and the selection of the best practicable and preferred options must be done using a coherent and transparent process; this document does not supersede that.

  12. The LGA also states "summary of the information contained in a statement of proposal must be a fair representation of the major matters in the statement of proposal"

  13. In the 2020 consultation for the 10-year plan the sole housing issue for Ohakune was the lack of employee housing. The Teitei development is a significant development that is not proposed to address the lack of employee housing rather it has three intentions – social housing, affordable housing and one other.

  14. RDC has a policy on significance and engagement where a community can expect to be consulted in advance on matters that affect them, this document does not supersede that and give them free will to do as they please.

  15. The GeoTech file in the Resource Consent, pages 28 & 30 show that the design and involvement by third parties started around October 2022 and the lots were drawn in September 2022. RDC CEO Clive stated in a public zoom call, that there was no point consulting on a piece of land that the government hadn’t committed to. Why did RDC not consult with the public and rate payers before submitting resource consent, as the design and Geotechnical had already begun 9 months before?

My take after reading the 21 Submissions

From the 21 submissions to council which can be viewed here , 3 were from commercial entities looking to help build the houses, 1 was from Waikato District Health board. Majority of the personal submissions stated that housing was required in Taumarunui and National Park with two from Raetihi. No submissions suggested building in Ohakune, however did reference Ohakune. At least two submissions suggested engagement be continued, and it was suggested a working group be established to find the locations where housing was most needed; but with input from the community.

Taumarunui woman’s refuge; was told KO would not be providing more housing or support above what exists. The woman’s refuge states how they have to house a mother and child for months and people need to move towns to find a suitable home; this also confirms our assumption that these people are left without whanau and support services; which in turn leads to these people returning to taumarunui due to lack of support services in the other towns.

One such submission said Ohakune is too far a commute from national park on a daily basis and local housing was needed in National Park. I believe everyone that completed this survey was of the belief that Council was planning on developing multiple houses spread across the region; not lumping them in the tourist town of Ohakune where work is seasonal.

If you look at the submissions and read the comments, its clear the questions were very confusing (see submission 15), and also bias with one option or another; i.e. "Do you think Council should be more ambitious and develop housing as well as land to speed things up" was not very explanatory as to the objective they were seeking; the question could be interpreted in so many ways now that we have seen what council has decided and actioned with Teitei in complete secrecy.

If council think that the 17 submissions were enough to plough through with the Teitei project with NO consultation regarding the sale of a rate payer asset, NO consultation on the design or location, NO consultation before the resource consent was applied for, NO consultation other than being told this is going ahead.

It appears council didn't listen to any of the recommendations in the submissions, other than the ones they wanted to follow through with; and in Ohakune that wasn't even listed as a location people wanted houses.

Rate payers have a real reason to be concerned with Ruapehu District Council & legal action will be taken for their lack of engagement, their lack of following the LGA and lack of following their own policies and guidelines when it comes to significant engagement.

The Ombudsman, the Minster of Local Government, the Minster of Housing & the Prime Minster have all been notified. The Prime Minister (Chris Hipkins) has acknowledged receipt of my messages.

If you have concerns, like me, please sign our petition at

Ohakune is a population of around 1200 people; we are already at over 750 signatures

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