Friday, February 07, 2014

Ratepayers paying for "total and utter incompetence in every respect"

Furpro had damaged the plantation and was not following "industry accepted" practice. 

Cyanide bait bags were being secured to the trunks of the trees by 75mm nails and 50mm fencing staples. The pines were also being "blazed", where the bark is removed with a machete or axe, to set traps. 

Farmer said the company faced losing the bottom 600mm of each tree or the timber being rejected at a saw mill because there were nails in the trunk. 

"We still have to signal to the saw millers that there were nails in the trees. That could very well have an effect on our final price." 

The then Environment Waikato (now Waikato Regional Council) awarded the contract to Furpro, who did the work and damaged the trees.  Subsequently Furpro went belly up with its indemnity insurance lapsing.

Te Mata Forest Ltd claimed damages of $753,000 for the destruction of the plantation...

The council confirmed a payment has been made, but chief executive Vaughan Payne said he could not disclose the settlement sum. 

Payne said the vast bulk of the settlement was met by the council's insurers, not ratepayers, and changes had been made since the incident. 

The spin just gets worse with some council wallah saying it will not cost ratepayers.  One wonders what next years premiums for the council will be.

parties signed a confidentiality agreement regarding the settlement .. a shareholder at Te Mata who is not bound by the agreement, called the council's behaviour "absolutely appalling". 

the incident caused "major concern" to shareholders

The saga continued with the council doing its best to slither out of being liable.

The company claimed it was misled by the regional council and, as a result, the council was liable.

the handling of the contract was "negligent" and the council should have been more scrupulous when it awarded the contract. 

"It smacks to me of total and utter incompetence in every respect."

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