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Murphy throws hat in ring for Council elections

A PERCEIVED need to bring sense to the council table has prompted Frank Murphy to stand for the Gisborne ward in the upcoming Gisborne District Council local body elections. He has a clear target in his sights, the Eastland Community Trust.

While it is only one of the reasons he is standing, the trust is a major issue on which he wants to see some action for the benefit of its beneficiaries, the local community.

“I am standing for GDC for several reasons," he said.

"One of them is I would like to influence the appointments of the ECT trustees which are selected by the sitting councillors.

“The ECT has just proudly announced they have accumulated $295 million. I think instead of being proud they should be ashamed of themselves.”

'Nobody likes being screwed'“A lot of this money has been gouged out of beneficiaries’ power accounts. Some can afford it, some can’t, but nobody likes being screwed. They have done little for myself or my fellow beneficiaries, apart from a few trustee feel-good projects benefiting a few at the expense of the majority.

“To be fair there have been some benefits to the region, but really not enough, over many years to make the difference they could have made, with the amount of funds they had control of.

“I think it is ludicrous for the ECT trustees, through the councillors who appoint them, to allow the spend of $120 million of beneficiaries’ money to build a power station on Maori land in the Bay of Plenty that is, or has been, subject to court action.

Employment and power for BoP on our money"Our funds will potentially create employment for Bay of Plenty residents and presumably cheap power for them.

“We have been told it will make us more money. We have $295 million now, with little or no direct benefit to ratepayers. How much money is enough?

"My opinion is the GDC-appointed ECT trustees do not have a good track record on easing the load through rates and power bills of beneficiaries, the actual owners of the $295 million. We need a council that will appoint beneficiary-friendly trustees.

“I also have a problem with the council chambers rebuild, plus the way the councillors have vested control of our prime assets with their subsidiary Gisborne Holdings Ltd, again with the sitting councillors appointing the directors.

“I have been accused at times of being out spoken. Well it is time someone spoke out about some of the current councillors.

“The ratepayers need some sense brought to the council table. Some of the current councillors have been there spanning two centuries.

“I am confident that the voters will agree with me that it is time for people with common sense to sit around the council table."

Frank Murphy