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HDC vs LGFA Lending and Financial Position

Andrew Mitchell made this Official Information request to Hurunui District Council

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From: Andrew Mitchell

Dear Hurunui District Council,

I require the following:
1. The name of the relevant financial institution and or institutions each loan was obtained from, and the date the loan commenced, and
2. Details and copies of external financial advice, upon which HDC chose to borrow from private banks, and not from central government sources, and the amount paid in brokerage/ fees for each individual loan, and
3. The average annual interest rate(s) payable a) when the loan was obtained, and b) upon each and all subsequent increases by the lender, and
4. A copy of the loan contract for each bank loan obtained by HDC, and
5. Confirmation whether the loans are hedged using interest rate swaps or derivatives of any nature,
6. A broad history of HDC nett interest (debt)/revenue ratio as follows:
a) in mid-1990’s,
b) in mid-2010’s,
c) in mid-2010’s
d) currently,
7. A summary of HDC total debt prior from the 2010/11 earthquakes and to date, including proceeds from asset sales and infrastructure investment,
8. Total operating revenue, and total capital revenue,
9. Please list key assets, and their value.

Yours faithfully,
Andrew Mitchell
(Leithfield Beach)

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From: CustomerServices
Hurunui District Council

Hello Andrew,

Thank you for your LGOIMA request.

This has been forwarded to the Governance Team.

Kind regards,

Angela Janes | Customer Service
Phone: 03 314 8816
My hours are Mon-Tues, Thurs-Fri 8.30am - 5pm.
For anything requiring an urgent response outside these hours, please contact [Hurunui District Council request email].

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From: Graham Sutherland
Hurunui District Council


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Hi Andrew

 

With respect to your official information request below, I have discussed
this with the Chief Financial Officer and he advises that to provide all
this information would involve significant work and would incur a cost. 
The Council has a charging policy for Local Government Official
Information and Meetings Act requests where the first hour of officer time
spent on the request is free, and any time spent on the request after that
is charged at cost.  I also need to note that some of the information
requested is likely to be withheld for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

 

Some of the information you requested can be found in the Council's annual
report documents - which can be found at this website link back as far as
2015/16:
[1]https://www.hurunui.govt.nz/council/plan...
We can provide electronic copies of earlier Annual Reports but those will
have to be retrieved from our records system.

 

With respect to possible costs, the Chief Financial Officer said it is
likely to take at least a full day, possibly more and time would be
charged at $135/hour.  It can only be estimated at this stage until the
work is carried out as it is a very broad request.  Please advise whether
you are willing to meet this cost prior to officers beginning the work.
Alternatively, please advise if your request can be significantly refined
to minimise the amount of work required.

 

Thanks

Graham

 

 

Graham Sutherland | Principal Governance Advisor

[2][IMG][3][IMG]Phone: 020 4133 3212                

                                                                                                                            

Please note my normal working hours are: Tuesday to Friday, 8:30am-5.30pm

 

[4][IMG]

 

 

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From: Graham Sutherland
Hurunui District Council


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Hi Andrew

 

Just checking whether you have had a chance to consider my email below?

 

Thanks

Graham

 

From: Graham Sutherland <[email address]>
Sent: Friday, November 10, 2023 9:21 AM
To: [FOI #24430 email]
Subject: FW: Official Information request - HDC vs LGFA Lending and
Financial Position

 

Hi Andrew

 

With respect to your official information request below, I have discussed
this with the Chief Financial Officer and he advises that to provide all
this information would involve significant work and would incur a cost. 
The Council has a charging policy for Local Government Official
Information and Meetings Act requests where the first hour of officer time
spent on the request is free, and any time spent on the request after that
is charged at cost.  I also need to note that some of the information
requested is likely to be withheld for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

 

Some of the information you requested can be found in the Council's annual
report documents - which can be found at this website link back as far as
2015/16:
[1]https://www.hurunui.govt.nz/council/plan...
We can provide electronic copies of earlier Annual Reports but those will
have to be retrieved from our records system.

 

With respect to possible costs, the Chief Financial Officer said it is
likely to take at least a full day, possibly more and time would be
charged at $135/hour.  It can only be estimated at this stage until the
work is carried out as it is a very broad request.  Please advise whether
you are willing to meet this cost prior to officers beginning the work.
Alternatively, please advise if your request can be significantly refined
to minimise the amount of work required.

 

Thanks

Graham

 

 

Graham Sutherland | Principal Governance Advisor

[2][IMG][3][IMG]Phone: 020 4133 3212                

                                                                                                                            

Please note my normal working hours are: Tuesday to Friday, 8:30am-5.30pm

 

[4][IMG]

 

 

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From: Andrew Mitchell

Dear Graham Sutherland,

I'm a little confused as in the interests of transparency and your obligations under the various acts applicable it would seem that such information would be readily at hand given the interests to (myself) and other ratepayers in your district.

I note that other district and city authorities have had no such concerns or restrictions to the disseminating of what I thought was public information of interest to the district, given your legal authority to levy rates and charges over rating units under the LGFA.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Mitchell

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From: Graham Sutherland
Hurunui District Council


Attachment Annual Report 2011 12.pdf
3.4M Download View as HTML

Attachment Annual Report 2012 13.pdf
2.8M Download View as HTML

Attachment Annual Report 2013 14.pdf
3.0M Download View as HTML

Attachment Annual Report 2014 15.pdf
2.9M Download View as HTML


Hello Andrew

With respect to your message below, much of the information you requested is readily at hand and reported publicly through the Annual Report process, which is audited and made available every year.

The Chief Financial Officer has provided the earlier copies of Annual Report documents since 2007-08 through to what is available on our website as previously advised. Some are attached here but I will send the rest in a separate email due to document size. The Chief Financial Officer advised that the Council only took on debt from September 2010. You can also find Council debt and treasury information like hedging for example, contained in the financial reports that are provided in each monthly Council agenda, which can be found on our website at this link: https://www.hurunui.govt.nz/council/meet... Just scroll to the relevant month and find the monthly Council meetings, for example the last meeting was on 28 November.

I note that your request is broad and to provide any further detail than that provided in the Annual Reports and monthly financial reports would require further work from the Chief Financial Officer. As advised, the Council has a charging policy and this is permitted under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. For this work to be carried out it would involve additional work on top of his existing workload and there is a real cost to the Council and ratepayers in doing that work.

Also as advised, and without seeing all the information, we felt it necessary to warn you that information like loan agreements, financial advice, brokerage fees and contracts for example, may be subject to commercial sensitivity and may not be provided. That would be part of the collation and assessment work.

As requested earlier, please advise if you are willing to meet the cost of carrying out any further work to collate and assess the information that may not be covered in the Annual Reports and other public documents.

Kind regards
Graham

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From: Graham Sutherland
Hurunui District Council


Attachment Annual Report 2007 08.pdf
4.3M Download View as HTML

Attachment Annual Report 2008 09.pdf
3.7M Download View as HTML

Attachment Annual Report 2009 10.pdf
2.3M Download View as HTML

Attachment Annual Report 2010 11.pdf
5.2M Download View as HTML


Copies of earlier Annual Reports as discussed in previous email.

Regards
Graham

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From: Andrew Mitchell

Dear Graham Sutherland,

I wonder if we can get a response by Xmas...

The Local Government Act states the following:

16. Register of charges maintained by local authority
(1) A local authority that has any charge over any of its assets must establish and maintain at its principal office a register of, and keep copies of, all instruments specifically affecting any of its property.

So, as you know, I'm not interested in your Annual Reports as such, or whether some of the information could/should or is found in them. I note, three other councils in the province do not have your claimed issues, and respectively request this.

As a ratepayer, I have a determined interest in this asset register, and the information held around it and the assets, as listed in my original question.

Yours sincerely,
Andrew Mitchell

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From: Graham Sutherland
Hurunui District Council

Hi Andrew

I discussed this matter further with our Chief Financial Officer and our position remains the same. To do any further work on answering your original Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request will incur a charge. We will not carry out that work unless you agree to meet that charge, as it is a real cost to the Council. Please advise if you are willing to meet that charge on the basis as advised earlier. I reiterate that we will not know what information might be commercially sensitive until the information is collated and assessed, I was simply advising that it was a possibility that some might be withheld. If you agree to the charge, the work will not happen before Christmas as the Chief Financial Officer will be doing the work and he is giving priority to the draft Long Term Plan development at the moment.

You have the right to refer this matter to the Office of the Ombudsman, requesting that they review the Council's response to your request. You can find all contact details for that office at the following website: http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

Regards
Graham

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