Well bring back memory’s. Back in 20O7 August / September I wrote 3 articles to the Farmers Weekly with headings such as the above. These articles propelled me into Regional Council. And with the exception of a article exposing the real intention of a trial, re twin lambing ewes on steep hill country, is the last one of positive note printed by the media. The others were used to attack and belittle my efforts.
In those articles I explained in detail the outcomes sort. I was still to come to grips with the reason why.
But here we are now in 2019, and those words are on the cusp of being. Gas, land, sediment, and fertilizer tax’s all being proposed. There it is on pg 1 and 3 farmers Weekly 14th April 2019. The Govt has consulted widely on its environmental proposals ? and introduced a National Policy Statement for Sediment.
The gas tax will sock farmers for $50 million a yr rising to $1 billion per ann. Interim Climate Change Climate Change spokesman David Prentice says. Some of the money MIGHT be used to help rural communities cope with the loss of jobs and services as farm animals are replaced by trees.
The document says it is entering the conversation. speaks of servicing debt (farmers) from lower cash flow and loss of land value, the impact on processors of lower production or through put and minimize the risk of international competitiveness.
Farm Environment Plans are considered a critical element in lowering emissions and the committee sees a chance to build existing compliance documents to avoid duplication.
There above on pg 3 we have a real drop kick organic farmer saying embrace embrace ,its the way forward. Funny that. Had that chap Mike Barton, farmer from over the Western Bays Lake Taupo saying the same . But as I reported since of his now/then media comments as the truth of his folly hit home. Rodger Beattie got carried away with his mouth at the BOMA Grow 2019 Agri summit in CHCH early April. If he and his group have discovered a secret market for their agri product ,why tell every body. For as sure as hell in time somebody will undercut him.
But the real beauty is Fed Farmers man Anders Crowfoot, reported as saying rural communities are increasingly concerned at the impact of Land Use Change on jobs and services. Oh my god. The Feds are part of the prob. Out of sight of their members are great mates with Horizons, were weak in the Environment Courts, and opposed Property Rights in the High Court. and when our Advisory Group report hit the street immediately sighed a memorandum of understanding with Horizons. No support to me at all and in fact were responsible for my demise.
This blog has repeatedly spelt out the issue and the outcomes sort, and the reason why. Sec 8 RMA. Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Yes Dianne Cringles interpretation of Maoridoms interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi. You have read it all here.
But the Carbon Farmers may well have to wait for another 30 plus years to hit the jack pot how ever briefly, as the commodity cycle we are now entering is in positive up mode signaling higher prices for the farmer grower, and I believe may well help agriculture to weather the tax storm till the next downward cycle begins. It will also help communities to adjust on a slower time frame to loss of the above. Land, people and services. But I believe the Carbon Farmers will also be captured in that cycle as the liabilities of loss of carbon in the forest hits home. Example.Claim at $25, lose it at $50-$100 or more $ and they will be in the crap.
To prove my point, There on pg 7 same mag, Changing the face of farming.
Alternative Proteins and Genomics could change the face of farming. It could boost production and improve environmental outcomes. A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report states. BUT they have come up against a brick wall of the country’s attitude to genetic engineering and gene editing. It is a must read. Why will it not happen. You have read it all here over the past chapters.
I intend to post some selected evidence of issues I faced during my time in Horizons starting now.
The last six years dated August 2013
1. I entered Horizons on the back of 3 articles printed in the Farmers Weekly August-Sept 2007.
Remember? Titles such as “Dam the Plan to Hell.”
2. I spent all of the first term gathering information, finding my feet and doing the sums. I did an economic analysis of the effects of the Land Use Classification’s on Ruapehu and across the region. I followed the Whanganui Treaty Settlement hearings. I studied the science, and concluded the Proposed One Plan is not about water and soil outcomes.
3. I studied the benefits for a Unitary Authority model Wanganui and Ruapehu. Financially and politically.
4. I Studied the Acts of Parliament we are required to work under as councilors.
5. I found myself, along with the President of Property Rights In NZ, the only lay people, in a Resource Management Law Association (RMLA) conference July 2010. The Conference room was filled with the Crown Law Office lawyers, the Treaty Negotiator, Ms Brosinan, and a panel of Lawyers. We argued against another injustice being created, and the subjective interpretation of the word sustainable.
6. I confronted Minister Powers with my concerns in April 2010. The next week (Tuesday) he announced his resignation effective at the following election.
7. Morally I Supported the parties, Federated farmers and PRINZ inc in the Environment-Court Dec 2011.
8. PRINZ went on to appeal the Environment-Courts decision in the High Court. My wife and I largely funded it.
9. I had success in seeing the Matiere stream cleared of willows.
10. I saw the Tarringamotu stream scheme to fruition. There were political outcomes as well as water and soil that had to be addressed. (Several sights of cultural significance)
11. I submitted against aspects of the Draft District Plan. The Tangatawhenua. (Co-governance). I found myself in another forum arguing against,(Maori Council) on the basis that the law did not allow such an out come. The end result is that those Iwi seeking such an outcome have gone to the Govt for a law change. I also successfully submitted against the Protected Areas Zone of the same document. This included Sec 4 Conservation Act. Manganui-o-Te-Ao river catchment and the Whakapapa from Raurimu to Kakahi. Those farmers and resource users captured would have had to apply to the Minister of Conservation for a Resource Consent to wipe their bottoms, let alone conduct day to day business and activities. There would have been a Heritage Order created, and to sell, the only option would have been the Public Works Act.
12. I appealed to the Environment Court on the Well-beings. The issue was how the RDC contrived the order of the Well-beings. Unfortunately I struck the Judge who wrote the case law that enabled him to strike me out.
13.This years project has been identifying and gathering the evidence and seeing it collated into a readable form detailing the Councils Advisory groups illegal and unethical activities. Chapter 6/13 of the Proposed One Plan. (Thanks John). It is my view and others that this has caused chaos for Horizons. We passed it on to Ministers and the Taurarua Economic Development Group. Horticulture NZ nor Federated Farmers did not appear interested.
15. I presented a remit to Ruapehu Federated Farmers Annual General meeting in June to be forwarded to the National Conference requesting the Ministry of Primary Industries legislate to limit the nutrient budgeting tool Overseer to measuring inputs only. This passed both meetings, a real feather in Ruapehu’s cap. Top brass in the feds would not have liked that And as a consequence MPI is trialing the tool on Land Corps farms. Sorry Hort guys, but you will hopefully benefit as well.
16. With the exception of the river and drainage schemes. People do not see the work I do in a public way.
Horizons budgeted $34 million for this years rate take. $45 million for the year 2020 Long Term Community Council Plan. This is clearly unaffordable. Yet we have sewage scheme upgrades to come, and compliance costs from the likes of Schedule E of the One Plan. 15000 sights of bio-diversity, or “Habitats”, plus the regulatory provisions to protect. This is not including sights of significant aquatic, just about every river and stream. A regulators dream gone mad. This years Annual Plan is the first I voted to approve in 6 years. 2%. Yet it was achieved largely by dipping into rate line reserves. An activity manager’s favorite quote. “We delivered the works programmes on time, in full, within budget”.
18. RDC wrote off of $90k from 6 years previous and beyond. What about the period leading up to. This is a similar story right across the Region.
19. Unitary-Authorities are coming; Waiarapa with 3 District Councils. Napier, Hastings, Wairoa. Tauarua? Which way will it jump? There are others in our region considering. Ruapehu and Wanganui where planning is already well advanced. Who else will be in the mix? Taranaki, Iwi boundary’s. Embrace them. They will, if structured right, deliver true local and democratic decision-making for and on behalf of our Communities. We will decide what we can afford. We will decide what suites our communities. We will decide the level of environmental degradation we are prepared to accept in order to provide for our economic, social, cultural and environmental needs.
Please remove us from the faceless politicians sitting in Palmerston Nth, removed from the districts that elected them.
20. The National Policy Statement (NPSFW) on Fresh Water sets the scene for the above, with the Land and Water Forums work to reinforce that. Horizons in my view are thumbing their nose at this work describing the NPSFW as a Land Rover, whilst Horizons is driving a Rolls Royce. Lets watch this space. But above all you have to get involved. You have to get off your chuffs and make submissions for and against. You have to support/ensure that the right people are elected and that your elected reps are then doing their job. Too many of them fall by the way side, not liking to be on the outer, finding it easier to shelter within the team.
It is all too easy for elected Councilors’ to sit there nodding their heads, eating their lunch and picking up their pay on Wednesday.