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Todays latest update, last ditch effort by KO & RDC

Att Ministers:

I am writing to you with an update to a report emailed to you in the last week from the Society regarding this same matter

We have grave concerns with respect to a letter received today by email and hand delivered in the neighbourhood surrounding the proposed build site at Teitei Drive Ohakune. (See Appendix 1)

In summary, the letter explains that a new resource consent will be submitted in early 2024 to enable earthworks at the site and that the new resource consent “does not include the subdivision of individual lots” and that “The land use and subdivision designs will be part of a second resource consent application”.

We note that there is already two resource consents lodged with Ruapehu District Council in July 2023 and being processed with agreement that they will be notified and S.92 requests for further information extant and overdue. These two resource consents were submitted as Non Complying Activities rather than as Permitted Activities - on the basis of them being non notified, with less than minor effects - as per reports provided to the then Ministers to approve the above funding, (See Appendix 3 & Appendix 4). We suggest this is a serious breach of duty to the then Minister by KO and officials and was a big part of the reason funding was finally approved.

We also note that the applicants have belatedly lodge applications with Horizons Regional Council in August 2023 and that these have requests for further applications outstanding AND agreement the applications will be notified and a joint hearing held.

It appears that this change in tack is a clear attempt to meet the initial condition of the funding agreement between HUD and KO relating to the IRG Covid Relief Government Grant for ‘shovel ready projects – this requires the project to be started within 12 months and the cut off date is 31 March 2024.

There is also still to be lodged a follow-up application for land use consent due on the initial time-line in mid 2024 (but likely delayed) to address the siting of the non-complying dwellings, access and parking breaches. Our independent technical and legal research shows that these current and the future resource consents would likely (as presently presented) fail to meet the policies and rules on a number of matters, including infrastructure design.

In addition, we note KO’s own 2023 Policy Document Building Design requirements are also not complied with. With this knowledge and the prospect of protracted litigation – Judicial Review and/or Environment Court appeals - KO has now changed tack in a last gasp attempt to obfuscate the real issues surrounding the development. That is that there is a real issue around the use of the taxpayer’s moneys via the aforesaid Grant.

We advise originally funding was declined on two occasions, due to concerns that the project was not “Shovel Ready” and that there were concerns with both the Working Group (WG) and the Steering Group” (SG). (See Appendix 2)

“CIP working group perspective difficult to bring back Project 2 again to SG”

“cannot see SG changing their minds”

This Teitei Housing project has already incurred consultancy costs of over $600,000 (not counting staff time) before breaking ground, before any infrastructure is put in place. Other development costings have been advised (but not verified), before appropriate consents have been approved (and conditions known if approved) and clearly without community support. We consider the proposal at this stage to not be practical or credible. We estimate that figure for consultants will rise to in excess of $1m before works commencing, being a large amount of the balance Grant approved and that the overall project cost will continue to skyrocket.

In summary - With the addition of another consent relating solely to “earthworks”, Kainga Ora & Ruapehu District Council hope to achieve compliance with the CIP/IRG Funding, viz. Breaking ground within 12 months of contract, being a condition of the agreement for this “Shovel Ready” Grant. They also are trying to get an approval that would then permit an add-on consent for subdivision (Because ‘you’ approved the earthworks.)

As taxpayers and ratepayers we are deeply concerned. We have currently troubled fiscal times, and there is doubt as to who is to pay for the very likely blowout in costs to achieve this unwanted development.

I ask that you carry out a full audit and investigation into this development proposal, its costings and future liability as a priority as it is time sensitive and critical.

Given the intention to commission an independent review into Kainga Ora’s financial situation (#49 on the governments 100 plan), procurement and asset management we consider that pending this review (which may take some time as KO will obfuscate) a moratorium on development expenditure be put in place immediately

Many thanks for your time.

Barry Murphy President - Ohakune Ratepayers and Residents' Society Inc. W: M: 027 4909 712 E:

Appendix 1 – Letter drop and email received 29 Nov 2023

Appendix 2 – CIP Minutes 11 December 2020

Appendix 3 – Project Risks, see highlighted

Appendix 4 – Key terms of agreement, see highlighted

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