Monday, April 7, 2014

Gerry Eckhoff: A true Story

Yes people – those of you who had reservations about Local government are absolutely right to do so –  please read on. In the small rural town of Lumsden (Northern Southern) a local building owner had to get a resource consent to do nothing. I kid you not. In fact it cost him $420 to do nothing.

The story goes like this: Rob bought the existing 60 year old bank to convert into a café. He would reasonably assume that consent would be forth coming for such a benign activity as a café, until the eagle eyed council staff noticed that the bank didn’t have a veranda. Now given the fact that the bank’s veranda hadn’t ever existed for 60 years with any difficulty it is not unreasonable to assume that the next 60 years would afford something similar. Further – should an earthquake occur in Lumsden, the place to be would be under the non existent veranda so that if it fell on you; you would not notice and certainly not be harmed.

Now,  there is a number of precedents here dear readers for such exceptional policies.

In the UK we farmers were paid not to grow crops. I naturally enough would have not grown a maize crop which is very expensive to grow so that the payments would have been much bigger than a payment to a fellow farmer not to grow a crop of oats which is less expensive to grow. Very soon all farmers worked out they were far better off being paid not to grow a crop of expensive maize.

I also would not have had to apply lots of NPK fertilizer so my expenses associated in not growing the crop of maize were huge. Add to that the cost of not spraying the maize and not to mention the harvesting costs, I could afford to buy a large and lovely villa in the South of France on the cheques from the Ministry. To my great surprise and delight I also received a environmental award for conserving the world precious resources in not growing this crop. Outstanding. In fact so outstanding was this policy I assume that the policy was thought of by the Green Party in the UK, or at least the US Federal Reserve.

Here in NZ we follow very similar policies. We pay people not to work. In fact the less they work the more we pay them which is of course very similar to paying farmers not to grow stuff or charging for not building a veranda.

Now our hero of the story (Rob) paid the council $675 and wanted a full refund for not building a veranda
He got $255 back along with some expressions of sympathy for his plight.

Now here’s the rub.

Not one council committee member voted to return his full processing fee of $675.

What is the old saying about heading to hell in a hand cart. Bill English lives just down the road at Dipton – or at least he did. Nice part of the world!


PJ said...

Is the full story being told here?

Surely the "consent fee" of $675 was for the council's investigation and consent approval to establish a cafe in the bank building.

As part of the council's investigation it was pointed out that the building did not have a veranda. Apparently this did not prevent the consent being granted?

Why was there a need to refund anything to the applicant?

paul scott said...

about RMA, and socialising the economy

Yes indeed Gerry. When we discovered that old yellow tooth announced himself as the RMA
him socialist palmer was the most destructive politician in all time, prime minister for a week,
a deadly force against the progress our Country New Zealand
Then the NZ Nat party with Simon Upton enacted this socialism.
I soon found out that I could not even open a Veterinary Clinic in Christchurch without enormous and absurd barriers.
But the RMA it worked for me once, I was able to lock out a Veterinary Competitor
My life force was encumbered though by all sorts of Council idiots.

RMA has been wrecking us through the eighties to even now as in your example.
I do not know who would be Council over Lumsden, but it is almost unbelievable any Council would turn down an application for
normal commercial activity without difficulty..

If think if I were the friend in Lumsden,
I would build them their verandah and then see if I could get be elected to Council.

Paul Scott

Unknown said...

To Paul
So why DID the council refund any money at all? It is an admission they screwed up.

Sam Esler said...

If one digs enough, one can find all sorts of storiers about the use of the RMA, as paul said it can be and does get used to stop competition. A case in point, on the west coast a builder subdivided some land, the owner of a large chain of hotels objected to the extent that the builder had to fork out 460K to another set of legal thieves to support his case. At the preliminary hearings the wife in the objecting party freely admitted they were objecting because a hotel could be built opposite thiers. Problem with that statement is it is not admissable in the actual court hearings, so the court never gets to hear the RMA is used to choke competition. Of course when the court heard the case the objectors never showed up, so one can only assume the objectors had only one objective and that was to financially ruin the developer. The irony of this is one of the directors was pictured standing with the Govenor general getting his NZ Order of Merit bestowed on him, what kind of a chicken poop outfit is this Gov't we got?