Veronica Harrod says one of the first projects for the new Horowhenua New Zealand Trust is a new medical centre on Levin public land which Horowhenua District Council sold to BOHR Property Ltd last year.
But the public were excluded from most discussions on the project.
And KIN Horowhenua correspondent Harrod says residents are asking whether the community will benefit from this and an extensive number of projects which the yet-to-be approved charitable trust plans throughout the district.
The Six former Horowhenua District Council economic development board members named as trustees in the preliminary Trust Deed document are: Cameron Lewis, Antony Young, Andrew Wynn, Ron Turk, Evan Kroll and Larry Ellison.
I think the public concerns are warranted, especially because they were excluded from taking part in discussions on the council sale of the 100-year-old Jack Allen House in Durham Street, Levin, to BOHR Property Ltd for an undisclosed price.
Even though the shareholders of BOHR Property Ltd are involved with Cambridge Street Medical Centre, the company is classified as a Rental of Commercial Property.
Due to the secrecy around the sale of the Jack Allen House there is also concern about the council’s intention to transfer up to 40 per cent of public assets to the Trust as “seed” funding.
Growth agenda…away from public oversight
In a column in a community newpaper last year, Councillor Neville Gimblett said the medical centre land deal, “reinforced that effective growth is a partnership between council, central government and private enterprise….away from the unsettling glare of public commentary.”
According to Companies Office information there are three shareholders of BOHR property ,Ltd, including Cambridge Street Medical Centre business development manager Hans Roberti who owns 116 shares, held on his behalf by Levin Chartered Accountant Hamid & McHutchon Ltd for almost a year, and clinical leader Dr Bente Ongkiehong and Johannes Roberti who own 2 shares each worth 1.67 percent. BOHR Property Ltd is not the ultimate holding company.
Council’s chief executive David Clapperton described the new medical centre demolition and construction project as a Horowhenua NZ Trust project in a report to a Foxton Community Board [FCB] meeting.
And the Council’s economic development manager Shanon Grainger made a reference to it in his report to council on supporting the establishment of the Horowhenua NZ Trust.
Mr Grainger described the project, one of the first priorities of the Trust, as, ‘A comprehensive framework to develop improved care and quality of life through a series of modern process-designed projects…as described in the “Master Plan: Quality Care and Lifestyle for Older People.’
At the FCB meeting on 18 September 2017.
Mr Clapperton described the Master Plan as, ‘the product of years of collective effort‘ before going on to say, ‘one such project is the establishment of a new purpose-built medical centre…it can be anticipated that further large scale projects like the medical centre will flow into our district..’
According to a timeline on the development of the Master Plan it was confirmed by former Mayor Brendan Duffy
and chief executive David Clapperton one day after the concept was presented to council by the Economic Development Board.