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Full marks to Newslink for ex­pos­ing the novel build­ing con­sent dis­count awarded Mataura Val­ley Milk by the Gore Dis­trict Coun­cil (a 25 per cent dis­count on fees for work val­ued over $1 mil­lion, the to­tal dis­count so far, $38, 156.46).

Steve Parry said that the $200m MVM pro­ject dwarfs any­thing else in the 28 year his­tory of Gore dis­trict. Wrong, Mr Parry. Ray­onier cost $180 mil­lion in 1997 - $270 mil­lion in to­day’s money.

Mr Parry should do some re­search, should learn, and should in­form the pub­lic just what value was won, for the ben­e­fit of our com­mu­nity, from Ray­onier in 1997. Ray­onier asked for a dis­count, but was re­fused and also paid a gen­er­ous de­vel­op­ment levy. That was proper coun­cil man­age­ment.

I am amazed that this for­eign owned com­pany has man­aged to ex­tract such a very favourable deal from the usu­ally tight GDC. Such gen­er­ous treat­ment is not dished out to ratepay­ers. For in­stance, GDC once of­fered a dis­count for full and on-time rate pay­ments. Long gone now.

The dis­count to MVM, and what it costs, will have to be made good by dis­trict ratepay­ers. A prece­dent has been set for fu­ture projects such as the pend­ing Kai­w­era Wind Farm. The dis­trict is in fact worse off, and in ef­fect our ratepay­ers are lin­ing the wal­let of the govern­ment of China (the owner of the com­pany that mostly owns MVM.)

Ian Robert­son, Arthur­ton. I am not wrong and would sug­gest that Mr Robert­son do a mod­icum of re­search be­fore burst­ing into print. For the record, the con­sented value of the build­ings erected by Ray­onier, in­clud­ing the main build­ing, earth­works, an­cil­lary build­ings wa­ter and waste wa­ter treat­ment was $12.1 mil­lion. Us­ing the Re­serve Bank in­fla­tion cal­cu­la­tor this equates in 2017 to $18.49m. In com­par­i­son, the con­sented build­ing val­ues (to date) for the new MVM com­plex

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