Hi readers, well before we get down to bussiness I would like to comment on my previous post 2 weeks ago.
Land Fills or Chemical Dumps
The Gentlemen named did appear before the council and did not need speaking rights as he appeared , speaking to another item which was included on the agenda as per the standing orders we adopted.
What concerned me was that there is no monituring committee named on the PNCC, web sight and no member by Mr Bert/Kevin Judds name mentioned on any of the Committees identified there.
There certainly is issues with PNCC,s sewage and waste water plant, and the certificate of compliance looks authentic for the land fill. I just got this uneasy feeling about this so decided to pull it from my site in the mean time until the points I raised are clarified.
Well the Annual Plan has come and gone again , the 3rd I have taken part in including the LTCC Plan. Quite a fasinating process with one particular councillor being quite skilled at the process. I found this one quite mundane, I must have become more familiar with the process, and the 2 day stratagy session was forgetable, with some councillors determined use it to cement in place this councils stated goals .
There was a brief presentation on how council should embrace Co-Management, but it appears there is little enthusium by a number of councillors for the idea, and quickly got shelved for another day, I suspect , esp as I pointed out that Co- Management is no longer written into the RMA. Stunned one particular Member, and I noticed that another item to be discussed got passed over , Transferr of Functions.
Well the Annual Plan lumps the average rate payer with a 4.9% increase, please note that it was to be 6.7% last year but ended up at 10%. This year staff had 2 surprises in store they identified that had potential to add to the stated increase, that councillors made it plain that it had to come out of operating expenses for the areas identified, in other words a cut in services provided. I note that at least 2 departments or Group Sevices are funded to a degree by reserves, signaling that next year the increase will be greater again
The greatest number of submissions were made by Rural Rate Payers in support of the targeted rate on land 4 hec and greater, to fund the Animal Health Board. I am a bit confused as to why a significant number of councillors are so opposed to farmers rateing themselves to fund this very worth while project. This one issue created so much debate it was almost sickening, and what is concerning ,they kicked up such a din that they succeeded in bullying the majority of councillors into only setting the targeted rate for 1 year, meaning the AHB and farmers will have to go through the same process next year.
The AHB has directly contributed $80 million to the protection of biodiversity in Horizons Region this past 10 years. God only knows the state our biodiversity would be in now or the cost to rate payers, but for the AHB. Well farmers know , we see just how destructive Oppossums are. This leads me to determine that there is another agenda in play here.
The issue is that our rate payers cannot afford these continual rises. the AHB pushed the figure up for our industry by just over 2%, for some in our flood protection schemes, up, and then there is a targeted rate to the Rangitiki District for old mans beard with a small increase there. Our urban cousins are getting wage increases in line with inflation, say 3% but rates are going up by on average 7 plus % yr on yr it is not rocket science to figure out what is happening to the Rate in Arrears Schedule.
Where can cuts be made? Sustainable Land Use Inituative, Green Rig, and Urban Transport, the fares need to rise. Horizons Biodiversity Programme can be better directed to the districts most in need as per the Statement of National Priorities for the Protection of Biodiversity on Private land 2007. This identifys the lowlands Manawatu, Horowhenua, Rangitiki and Taurarua.. It needs to be better targeted.
Looking through the Draft Exceptions Annual Plan pg 71,I note under Iwi Activity a statement. We continue to actively engage to achieve greater participation by Iwi in our decision making processes,and encourage the development of a stronger Iwi role in managing the resources with in their Rohe and at an Iwi or Hapu level. Time to start watching this page. I fear more overly restrictive rules and regulations governing Land Use. Adding cost and destroying wealth. Likely out come grter compliance costs.
On another issue I tried to organise a march in Hamilton to co incide with the Central Districts National Party Conference. I did not get much support, it appears it is the domain of the anti ETS guys not to knock them ,so I thought stuff it , Im doing a personal protest against overly restrictive rules and regulations adding cost and destroying wealth . So I took the Pony Club speakers and knocked up 6 placards, which I propped up against the car that I parked across the street from the main entrance, to the conference center and got into it for a hr or more before. A number of delegates came out for a look and I caught site of a offical stalking down the back ally towards me with a look of disapproval on his face. Got a lot of toots and yells of support from passing Motorists. Must have thought I was a Trade Unionist or something. But the up shot of it was that , that conference was the only conference to push through a remit to the National Conference opposing the ETS. Great. No body has thanked me but I,m used to that.