This post shares my thoughts following Lotto’s rejection of Ruapehu District Council’s application for a million bucks of gamblers’ spending. The boffins at RDC will be spinning things as best as they can, but it is a body blow to the dreams of a few powerful people. Enjoy.
My report into the RDC’s application described it as fatally flawed. This was proved to be accurate. I did not have any inside information – I simply sought and obtained all the application documents under the Official Information Act, asked questions and applied logic.
My thoughts in no particular order:
Value of Application
Applying for over a million dollars was crazy and outside the norm. Grants actually accepted by Lotto in this funding round started at $3,238 and the top successful application was $850k (Taupo District Council).
Clive Manley, RDC’s CEO told the local rag that they used “a very experienced consultant” to develop their application. When politicians say something like this, just about ANYTHING in fact, you can ALWAYS know that reality is the opposite. In fact their advice was off the mark and their application amateur. It never had a show from the get-go.
The only thing that has come from this failed exercise is that the Northland consultants have a big whack of RDC’s money. I am told that more will be spent on drawing up architect’s plans for the upstairs area of the Railway Station. Give me the back of a cigarette packet and a pencil and I will do that for a beer! People in the know should be telling the world why RDC went to Northland for these services. Remember in these circles it is not what you know, it is WHO you know. Ask questions people and connect the dots. It’s not hard to work it out!
My blogging has pinged RDC’s mayor and CEO and has shown the extent of the corruption here. I’ve proven Clive Manley to have been the source of multiple outright lies to both Ron Cooke and Audrey Walker, and to Lotto. Oh sure he covered his tracks, correcting some of those errors but people lie when they have power and abuse it. But it’s actually not the crime that they get caught for, it’s the cover-up. Integrity? Nah! Don Cameron is dead right to fear my words and attack the messenger when he’s on his tail.
The role of a blogger exposing corruption is interesting in the sense that as far as I know Taumarunui has never had to face effective online exposure before. A current council member attempted to manipulate others a while back using Facebook but that ended in shame and ignominy when his credibility came into question. My astute, accurate and fearless blogging however if continued to the point that others appreciate the resulting refreshing accountability, may end up being different. I do know that it is gaining traction from those that fear and that others are watching with interest. Time will tell. In this case of their dodgy Lotto Application I suspect that this exposure didn’t really make much difference. It was flawed from the outset.
I suspect that the whole thing will be hushed up and ignored, presented as just one of those things; you win some and you lose some.Blame will be allocated to the dog who ate the homework.
It will be good in the sense that RDC will no longer be exposed for an insane amount of expenditure on what is simply an old building in a divided town led by politicians with pet interests. Personally, I abhor gambling and taking money that has come from the ones who can least afford it is a mug’s game. There should be 100 better ways to structure an opportunity like this than Lotto. Failure is probably a blessing in disguise, especially if RDC had gotten caught with their BS and had to repay the funds granted them at a later stage.
Council will have real problems moving forward. Unfortunately from what I know, crooks never learn from their mistakes. Their sneaky handling of the War Memorial Hall issue, and now this dodgy [failed] Lotto application has shown me (and my readers) how crooked the local leaders really are so their credibility will be low among the astute. Mayor Don Cameron though is a politician who appeals to the less astute – that’s how most mayors work. Make it look good and take the credit whenever you can. They have the lease on the Railway building for another three decades and they’ve got a subsidised rental for the first few, so there’s no big pressure on them to do anything. They probably won’t.
This all sounds a tad negative, but it’s not really. It’s just life, and the way things are in the King Country. Life will go on and the sun should rise above the fog and frost again tomorrow!