I,m back. Been a while. and I must say I am worried you have all forgotten me. Had trouble finding the site, the machine said I no longer exist. That was a worry but then plenty of people would not mind.
Before Xmas, I attended the Environment court appeal to the Bio-D provisions of the one plan.
Fed Farmers and Property Rights NZ were the appellants and I have to say got their butts kicked.
The feds I believe took it the appeal too casually, arguing all the relevent points except the word significant which was not mentioned at all. And of course the Bio-D provisions are about Significant Biodiversity, oop yes that was what was consulted on, but Shedual E is about Significant Habitats. There was no consultation on significant habitats. So when sec 68 RMA was mentioned ,yes mentioned ,so what. Lands of Regional Significance/Habitats thats what should have been argued.
God only knows how the Judge arrived at his decision with regard to the Feds arguement on the control of the effects as per sec 30 RMA and sec 31 RMA, including the need for a transfer of functions to make rules as per sec 33 RMA. The Powers bestowed on Local Govt by the Local Govt Act bearly got a mention. Sec 12. I understand PRINZ is off to the High Court and quite rightly so. Have you heard of the phrase “indecent haste”.. The Judge more or less told the Feds they were gone burgers on these points at the conclusion of the hearing. That left the audience astounded.
The Property Rights Chap. Well he just did not fire at all.
Xmas came and went, and I found myself assissting Property Rights appealing the Enviro-court decision. They have engaged a Queens Council, Mr Whithnell, famous for defending David Bain.
The LTCCP 2012-22 Once again I did not get the draft copy until the day befor the regional council meeting so there was no time to read, and once again there was something hidden away in it, that was particularly nasty. Espeacially as it is contrary to the well- beings I have refferred to in the past. Social Economic, Environment Cultural. So when the Plan comes out look to the land management section and see the paragraph on economic pain long term environmental gain. Had to write it into the LTCCP so as to signal to the community future regulatory policy within the next 10yrs.
Please submitt against this. The hearings panel turfed it out because of the horrendous financial consequences to our communities.
I voted against this although there was no offical minutes taken , just a staff member taking hand written notes and when I challenged Chair Gordon about the afore mentioned . He stated yes there is and pointed to the staff member. I promptly wrote to the Auditor Generals office complaining of the manner in which the item was presented and handled including the outcome sought by this item being signaled in the LTCCP.
This was about table 13.2 of the Proposed One Plan Nitrogen leaching allowances which the hearings panel turfed out. This was reintroduced by the council working party to the Environment Court as soon as the Environment Court found against the Feds and PRINZ before Xmas. and was only possible because the Judge did not rule in favour of the appellants on sec 31 of the RMA. Control of the effects of the use and development of land including Bio-diversity for the production of food and fiber. You will find the last bit written into the glossary of your district plan. With permitted written in the rules section. There can be exceptions in some district plans.
So guys. We are in the crap big time. PRINZ inc is fighting the abuse of law, by… and they need your financial help. NOW. Please to all my loyal readers, a reasonable donation would be much appreciated. Please send to PRINZ C/- PO Box 32 National Park.
Also on the Agenda at regional Council this month was stage 2 and 3 of the Wanganui city flood protection scheme. Stage one has been completed, but the city can not afford it. They have recently completed a sewage scheme up grade to the cost of $120 million. Councillor Sheldon and my self have been active supporting the Wanganui Councillors, Walker and Cox, contributing to the media debate.
We managed to get the scheme canned ,with a review of alternative methods raised to commence in 2018.
This was a real slap in the face for the Palmerston North Councillors with one exception, all of who argued strongly for it to proceed. I note that these members are on the council working party overseeing the One Plan process.
So a huge victory for the economy of the catchment. But then I do not doubt that these people would not hesitate to flood the city out in the future. I noted that the 200yr flood protection proposal, proposed for Wanganui would sustain a 5300 cumec flood. Exactly the flooding intensities estimated through the 1850- early 1900 period of our history. When the majority of the catchment was in heavy bush and scrub.
I now have the science that gives credibility to this view although council staff refuse to accept my reasoning.
This gives rise to serious concerns for me, and other councillors are starting to question staff assertions and the support given to staff by councillors in influiential positions.
It is obvious that serious changes are proposed for the region with regard to land use, and the effect this will have on our regions economy.
The Policy Statement for the One Plan states “Land Use Change. Carbon Sinks”. Carbon today is trading at $7.50c a tonne. It has been as low as $5.56c a tonne in recent weeks, and could go lower. At these prices it is uneconomic and will only serve to achieve govts and councils environmental/political out comes. Mark my words . There will be blood on the floor before this is all over. Gross $400/ hec return per ann over 30 yrs. Still have harvesting? liabilities .1/3 to be paid back, and liabilities should a hec or ten go down the creek,( $ 13000/ hec) including the need to replant. What will that cost in 30 yrs time.
My bank manager tells me the better cockys on this type of country are now cracking the $1000/ hec. mark with sheep and beef.
The Proposed Regional Land Transport Stratagy 2010-40 on pg 5 gives the poulation estimates for the regions districts and with the exception of Manawatu and Palmerston North, are all down. So the changes I have described above will not happen tommorow , but rather on a gradual time scale.
Where are these displaced peoples to go and what social tensions will arise as a consequence.
My message in the media was , directly related to the Nitrogen Land Use Classes and the out-comes these would achieve in the catchment should they be implemented . Land Use Change ,Carbon Sinks.
Again.These same councillors are on the Council working party.
I attened the Ohura National party AGM last friday. The message was. Major changes to local govt. Government is planning to reorganise Local Authorities with Unitry authorities the preffered out come. I have concerns as the the real reason behind this . If it is to achieve political out-comes I have refered to in the past then i am really concerned. If it is to achieve efficiencies in the the delievery of services , then great.
Who will control the regulatory functions?. A member of Federated farmers I know, is talking of catchment commissions. God help us if the councilors on the council working party are appointed to that.
But my view is that the process involving the One Plan development and implementation is seriously remiss, and being pushed through with indecent haste. Might not seem that way, and believe me there are serious consequences still to become apparent.