Hello people. I thought I might be a bit different today and describe the council (Horizons) efforts at approving the above for consultation May 2007. The discussion document had lots and lots of blank pages, with staff telling councilors what should have been in those blanks. It appeared that the reality was different. After the election results were made public in October of that yr the new councilors attended a meet and greet day. I, of course attended, and at the end of, I was asked by the then chair Garry Murfitt to stay behind for a informal chat. Councilors Meads and Main attended. I will never forget that “informal” meeting. As soon as the door was shut. Meads launched into me about my misrepresentation in the farming media of the ONE PLAN. Clearly he had not read the document released for consultation. It did not contain the approved version at all by the then councilors. Staff had made significant changes. On whose authority? The govt of the day. John Key’s National Govt.
He really got stuck into me until Gary Murfitt spoke up and said. “David” He is right. You can imagine the silence. Meads was a very cutting, forceful degrading sort of chap, very intelligent and did a very good job of catchment chair. He hated my guts from that day on.
Why do I revisit that memory. Here in the local District Council Long term Plan we have a similar situation. One councilor, Cr Jennings, decrying councilors effectiveness, saying governance has failed the rate payer. Management and staff have filled the void left by us. We should have been driving the strategy and we have not. He complained about a lack of openness and transparency in the entire LTP process, with many decisions being made behind closed doors with out adequate discussion or debate. HDC is planning capital expenditure of 1 billion $ over 20 yrs with the Auditor generals Office concerned that Cr Jennings had hit the nail on the head AND that will not be enough. Another $27 million more likely needed. (Horowhenua Chronical pg 5 Friday 26th March 2021). I accessed the web page given for more info only to find the advertised page had been removed. Error 404. Page removed.
Well good on you Cr Jennings, but I fear your time in the sun will soon come to a end, for the people driving all this do not like you and me.
During that period of my Regional Council days my favorite saying was “Overly Restrictive Rules and Regulations adding Cost and Destroying Wealth.” Just look at the Dairy Industry and now the South Is High Country.
Now I can coin a phrase ” Capital Projects adding Cost and Destroying Wealth.” Only a matter of time before interest rates rise, and rise they will, plus the destruction of the productive sector, Agriculture and you have the perfect financial Storm approaching. How on earth are business and home owners asked to pay, going to be able to afford the ann rate rises of 7 plus %.
I touched briefly on the South Is High Country probs. It is the Crown Pastoral Leases, that are at risk. Sounds to me like sec 4 of the Conservation Act being imposed ,with lease holders having to ring up the Minister for the Environment 8.00 am every morning and ask how many pieces of toilet paper are they allowed to use to wipe their bums that morning. Yes that restrictive. In Short. The Crown wants them gone. My view. Should be obvious. But I do not see the Feds or Beef and Lamb wheeling out the Magna Carter. No Man shall be desisted of his land by a rule or regulation. When this piece of regulation was enacted back in medi-evil times that included lease land. rest my case. pg 12 Farmers Weekly Feb 12 th 2021. Same paper ,pg 1 . Plans can add value. There is a new name out there for environmentally aware farmers. WOPS. No I did not invent it. Being encouraged, driven by Beef and Lamb enviro policy manager Corina Jordan. Ex Fish and Game policy woman. I rest my case. No not the WOPS. The Plans.
I visited the Central Districts Field days early in March. Had Lunch courtesy of the bank and shared a table with 3 others. Did not no them ,but they were talking about all this regulatory stuff ,one saying how he felt farmers had to comply even if it meant cutting stock nos. You can imagine. I could not help my self. Told them what ever they do, it will never be enough, it was all about Treaty Settlements, and they could not stop it. Told them where to look for confirmation. Of course If rural NZ got its shit together, joined forces with the Truckee’s and blocked highways and by ways ,then things might happen. But whilst we have elected reps and industry leaders all following the out come sought, I am afraid it will take another Derek Danial (50 shades of green)to motivate Rural NZ. Start thinking about your long term future I told them.
It left me quite frustrated, sad, depressed, mixed emotions, what ever for the rest of the day.
There we have Muriel Newman’s Blog this past week talking about this very issue. Taken her a fair while but finally she prints it. Wonder how many readers act on the info both of us provide.
I see my man Billy T Kahika cucked it in. Shame.