Hi guys. Well no doubt most of you have read the media release this last week re the Regional Council meeting Tuesday the 25th June. Report no 13-124 on page 121. Implementation of the proposed One Plan nutrient management provisions.
You would have seen it reported that the vote was 9 for and 2 against. Cr McKeller and I voted against. Cr John Barrow was notibly absent.
It is a sad day for the entire region as this sets the scene over time for every other catchmant to be captured as the years roll by. I have said it before. Get out of debt. I know this is hard when we have deliberate Govt policy and the climate to deal with.
I say deliberate Govt policy because that is what it is. I point you to Horizons Annual Plan 2013/14 page 91. Strategic Management Activity. Look to the Overview in the second paragraph.
Quote. This activity also covers our participation in the development and implementation of Central Government environmental policy and working with Territorial Authorities where this helps integrate Regional and District plans.
There we go guys. $25 million the rate payer has spent on the Regional Plans. Yes $25 mill. Straight from a staff member at the Last Strategy and Policy meeting. He got wrapped over the knuckles for saying it in front of the press . I do not know why as the press is Governments lap dog.
We went through a exhaustive farcical exercise which included consultation, then the hearings, which followed on to the Enviro-Court, and finally to the High Court with Property Rights In NZ inc, and now the Feds? and Hort NZ. Of course PRINZ with the complaint to the Judical Conduct Commissioner complaining that Justice Ko’s was biased in that he presided over the appeal knowing that he was an elected member of Fish and Game, and did not declare that to the court. In short he could not hear that appeal. It is a conflict of interest that is not acceptable. All a matter of perception.
Included in the above farcical exercise, is Government using its lacky’s within staff and Councillors to set up another informal hearings panel as described in previous bloggs, with no chair, to hear new evidence, which was then shovelled off to the enviro-court using council staff as expert witness’s supporting Fish and Game, the Dept of Conservation and Andrew Day. Of course the Enviro-Court judge immeadiately rewrites the the Plan(s) to accommadate these political and green extremists.
When Govt goes to these extremes to circumvent and abuse the legal process you know we are in big trouble. I repeat get out of debt. Look at all aspects of your bussiness and if it is not possible to do it trading, then consider asset sales. Even exit. In fact it is time to get out of NZ. I do not no where, as it would seem that every Govt in the world is following the same path. We vote but that is the only aspect of democracy that is left. I have to ask who counted the MMP votes after the last election. They got sealed in a box and shovelled off to parts unknown to be counted. Did they get counted or dumped straight in a furnace? For you must realise that MMP keeps the politicians in line and nodding their heads. That is all it is designed for.
My view is. That Councillors around the table get paid pretty well to nod their heads, and the good ones pick up directorships on port companys, go on to Health Boards and other political appointments. Both in the public and private sector.
The District Councils are afflicted with the same disease, and the subjective interpretation never stops.
We had Minister Carter visit Horizons last October, telling those councillors who bothered to turn up.”Fix it or I will fix you.” Of course we know what happened to him, and I understand a number of key staff went to.
My colleague John Chumins and I went to see Minister McKelvie in May, and detailed the break down in Governance that occured as described above and in previous columns. We got a nice letter back from Minister Tremaine, Minister of Local Govt, saying he had noted our concerns but was unable to act.
I have previously badgered the hell out of the Minster of the Environment and have managed to get a submission slot to the up and coming RMA reforms at the end of the year. Whopty do.
Get real guys. Us rural folk need to get over National and Labour and whoever else who claims to represent us, and get our act together and support a Rural NZ party. I understand one has been registered, but I have to say that it has already been inflitrated by the other side.
So all in all a sad week.
I ask you all to read the recommendation re the nutient management recommendations in report 13-124 on page 121 Regional Council agenda 25th June. It is quite abit different to what was reported in the Manawatu Standard . And my interpretation of the discussion that preceeded the vote, was one of desperation and an exercise driven by desperation. In that it was an exercise in saving face by senior staff and supportive Councillors (Council Advisory Group). For the detail will be in how it is rolled out through implementation. My take (view) is that only new conversions will meet the 20-25yr controlled status. All others will fall into the restricted discretionary status and be given a resource consent for 15-20yrs. Lots of “or’s” in this one. This bears a ressemblance to what the Hearings panel arrived at and was notified in the Decisions Version of the Proposed One Plan.
Coucillor Guy tried to get the CEO to agree not to notify this as a restricted Discretionary, instead pleaded to just have an un-named status resource consent issued. Cannot be.
Councillor Walker has issued a press release saying he is out of there, had enough of standing beside Cr Plowman banging our heads against the same brick wall at lunch times. I will miss you Bob. Not that you understood the One Plan and was quite up front about, but that you continued to push for a sensible rate increase yr on yr. Lets face it . That will go along way to achieving the outcomes I seek.
Also on Tuesday the 25th Council adopted the Annual Plan 2013/14. An average 2% rate increase. Could have been alot better. But then I described the detail in a previous column. Big increase in rate demand for Strategic Mangement being the One plan, (15.6%), Water Quality and Quantity(9.1%) Uniform Ann general Charge(6.6%). The Infrastructure Insurance reserve up a whooping 50%. Then there is cuts I would be concerned about and indeed when I started to speak to my concerns I got put down real quick by the Chair. These are, Pest Animal -5.4%. Pest Plant -51%, Pest Plant production UAGC -46%, and Transport Passenger Services -17.3%. All the wrong activities. Too much spent on Bio-D. This is set to become a biggy.
On the 7th June I attended the BNZ MAORI Excellence in Farming Awards 2013, Sheep and Beef. This was held in Hastings. I attended as a guest of Te Uranga B2 Incorporation. Ruapehu also had Te Hape B Trust in the finalists on the night as well. So all in all a good night for Ruapehu. These 2 incorporations are showing great returns, right up there with the best in NZ and are a credit to the mangement and the governance teams responsible for them on behalf of the owners.
I attended the Te Hape field day at the end of May. This was well attended by Maori and European farmers alike, all keen to see and hear the success story for themselves.
Alas both incorporations missed out on the big prize with Te Awahohonu Forest Trust-Tarawera Station North of Napier winning on the night. But be sure, our teams turn will come.
This past week , on Thursday the 27th, I attended the Whanganui River Trust Board Whanganui River Treaty Settlement presentation on progress with regard to the claims. The presentation was informative, with the over arching out come sought being sustainable communities based on the health and well being of the river. The claim covers the river and it’s tributries. The claim seeks the river bed to be vested in the Te Awa Tupua (river) with Maoridoms values at the centre of, but will include all others values. This seeks a legal recognition of the Te Awa Tupua values as a legal entity. The legal entity will lead to collaborative development and whole of river strategy based on section 6E of the RMA. I understand more amendments are to come.
The out come when confirmed will seek a softly softly approach to the needs of our communities, river users and the wider catchment economy, accepting the role of Local Government. The out come sought is not a Green Party crusade. Will not put our communities under undue economic stress, will sustain communities, will be positive and definitely will not lead to adversorial processes.
Next column will be after nominations open for the up and coming elections. I understand that there has been attempts to seek candidates to stand against me. Surprising who is after my hide, but then I am not backward in saying it as I see it. This would almost certainly have upset those who do not want to be named as being negative for our communities particularly as one or 2 pretend to represent us.