In the interests of showing you the tragic trajectory of debt that the Kempthorne — King — Bryant dynasty has Tasman District Council on I asked Council staff the following question:
Could I have a printout of the debt figures for the last 25 tears and the next 10 years?Dean McNamara
This was to demonstrate how the once strong balance sheet of the Council has been mismanaged to the point of bankruptcy under the current more-of-the-same elected officials that have ruled the roost for almost a quarter of a century.
I was hoping that staff could push some buttons and print me out a graph. This is apparently not something they could do. And what is more, my request was treated as a Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) request as per the response below.
LGOIMA Friday 8/26/22
Kia Ora Dean,
I refer to your official information request dated 17 August 2022 for 35 years of debt figures being the last 25 tears and the next 10 years.
All of the Annual Reports have a Financial statement section. The debt figures you are referring to can be found in the balance sheet (Statement of Financial Position) You can review the annual reports on our website: Annual reports | Tasman District Council
If you are not satisfied with Council’s response, you have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman. Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.
If you wish to discuss this decision with us, please feel free to contact the Legal and Democracy Services team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
LGOIMA | Governance Services
As you can see from the link provided (as poorly laid out as it is) this information only goes back to 2007 and not the 25 years as requested. So I sent a reply asking that I “I have the figures of debt over the past 25 years” as requested, having now given up on a graph with the next 10 years of projected debt also documented.
A response was received from Kate Redgrove on Monday the 29th.
Kia ora Dean,
I’ll follow this up with our Finance Team and get back to you.
After no response, I sent a follow up query on Wednesday the 14th of the 9th which was the full extension of “as soon as reasonably practicable, and in no case later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received by that local authority.”
To which I then receive the following later that day:
Sorry for the delay. Below is the response from our Finance Team, which I hope is helpful:
Looking at the Annual Report for 2020 the Gross Debt figure is the ‘Current Portion of Borrowings’ plus the ‘Term Borrowings’
Now the response includes information only for 2019 / 2020 years, so I respond that my original request was for the debt figure from 25 years ago. I have given up on the chart of debt idea and have opted instead for a start figure.
Following a meeting with the Mayor on the following day, the 15th of the 9th, I forwarded the conversation to him as per his request. Later that day I received the following response:
Hi Dean, sorry that things have become muddled.
The original request from you is recorded as “…35 years of debt figures being the last 25 years and the next 10 years…”.
I’ve referred this back to the Finance Team for further assistance. It may be easier for them to contact you directly.
Having received no further response I emailed Kate again the morning of the 20th of the 9th suggesting that “As my request to staff was treated as a LGOIMA request there are certain obligations that come with that and as a Council we are certainly not meeting those.”
The $250 million figure will be revised to well over $300 million in the coming term (in my opinion).
I say this because interest rates are more than double what they were when that figure, with no contingency, was set. Also, they refused to include any budget for the new offices — that we don’t know if we are going to build, renovate, or lease — but we went ahead and bought some land to build on anyway. And of course there is that old chestnut called the Waimea Irrigation Dam that will continue to present more overruns. But it doesn’t end there with staff continuing to “actively work on” the Mapua to Rabbit Island cycle bridge and now a proposal to start buying up city blocks on behalf of developers so that they can intensify development.
If Tasman elects more-of-the-same again I don’t want to hear complaints about your rates climbing out of control, that is the path you chose.