This month I have a number of issues to touch on. First I have heard it said that I step out side of Regional Council issues in this column. Let me say that every thing printed in this column is Regional Council issues. If thoes who say this not correct, then you are poorly informed of the issues that confront all of us.
Well I must say that June and July have been two of the quietest months I have experienced in my time on council.
Is it because staff are busy pushing appellants to the One Plan into the Environment Court, and they do not want me around . I have evidence of this with submitters ringing complaining . My interpretation of the Council meeting on the subject is that the council working party is supposed to be sitting in on all meetings between council staff including Legal reps and appellants to the process. I have heard via the grape vine that this is not so with meetings being held in Auckland of all places.
I asked the Question during members qestion time , was this the case and how much is this costing rate payers. As usual staff had a answer, and I got no support from fellow councillors.
I recall that I had the process on the rack in April, esp the Bio Diversity Provisions which is crucial to the ability of the Policy and the Plan to deliever the out come sought. Land Use Change. Blow me down, council 9-3 voted to over turn their previous months Policy and Strategy meeting motion to seek a legal opinion as to the legality of the Bio Diversity provisions, esp the control of the effects. Had Council stayed on track the land Provisions would have fallen too. In effect the end of the One Plan.
Now as I pointed out by email to a number of them, they have been cleverly roped and hog tied into taking ownership of the Plan.
In July I missed the Regional Council Meeting to set the rates for the coming year. It is Draft District Council Hearings time, and I had a submission to make. It was to do with the Protected Natural Areas Zone which was a particularly nasty piece of work slipped in to the next draft after the first draft was release’d for public consultation. It included sec four of the conservation act and covered approximately 120,000 hec of farmed land, including the good dairy belt of the northern region. These farmers, had this gone unnoticed had effectively lost their existing use rights meaning they had no property rights at all. A resource consent needed for every thing and would have effectively mean,t the end.
In June Mr Carlyon and Ms Mysark ,being staff , addressed the Ruapehu District Councillors on the One Plan provisions for Bio-Diversity, esp Habitats. I was astounded to hear that the One Plan Provisions have been expanded to a national scale, from environments of 20% or more.
I have just got back from 10 days in Brisbane. Weather a bit cool the first 2 days but then the sun shone. What a great place. Just like NZ, but flasher and bigger. The public transport system is out of this world and would make Vern green with envy. Got these Go card things ,one swipe and away you go.. Dedicated Bus Highways, included. Got down the Gold Coast, the sand was white as, and the sea deep blue. The water temp was such that I would have jumped in had I had my togs and indeed plenty of people were. Prices for goods similer to NZ, but the beer was very expensive. 30 pack of xxxx cans quite cheap. Huge selection.
God only knows what will happen if the international tourism market crashed.
I found the same issues we in NZ are facing in that we are being brainwashed into excepting indigenous rights. We visited the Musemun and left dissappointed. All about indigenous peoples, with negative refferences to europeanisation including a set of disc’s for ploughing. A couple of airoplanes hanging from the roof.
I will say the media are right up the state and national govt’s. I include Fairfax which i feel is definately behind the 8 ball in NZ. Why?. But then if you had have sat in on the Regional Chiefs meeting at the Local Govt Conference in Auckland last year and heard Minister Finlayson speak on Treaty issues and the media, then you would know why.
For the whole 10 days I was there the emissions trading scheme was front page news, and It looks to me as if Gillard is a gone berger along with a couple of state premiers. Also which was of real interest was the Queensland Farmers up in arms over proposals to mine coal under good farmland. Yes under, but the issue is that the state govt has given the green light for the miners to take as much water as they need, when the farming industry is tightly regulated. Sound familiar. Yes I go back to my earlier comment. What is going to replace a finite resource, minerals, and what will happen should the tourist industry take a hit. My view is that the farming industry is treated just as badly as we are, and indeed there is plenty of debate as to the health of the national economy, with the West Pac bank predicting a 1% rate cut over the next 12mths.
Well on a more somber note there has been 2 morgage sales and one recievership notice in my district. Seems the banks are sensing a opportunity to exit a number of troublesome accounts.
One I am particularly annoyed about , being that they got involved with carbon. Seems the incentive by regional council to plant pine was too great and the silly prices quoted was to much to resist . Accordingly the bank pulled the plug. What is dissappionting is that one of the partners asked me my opinion some months ago, and I also reffered her to my blog sight to read what I published for all to see. Alas to no avail. Farmers are not using my knowledge on such matters, are/will pay a horrendous price for that. Horizons staff are very convincing.
I note that the price of carbon at the moment is trading on limited tonnages available, at $16 a tonne. a far cry from the $30 plus first stated and the Regional Rate payers are wasting large amounts of money. In the case quoted I believe the incentive was $ /per hec in a form of a environmental grant . the Area 900 hec,s.
Another farmer believes he is going to recieve $250 per hec from regenerating scrub. Again he did not talk to me till after the event. On that note I read the Great Colin Meads selling his soul in one of the farming publications. At least he is a bit more real. $50-$150 per hec. Believe me there is alot more misery to come both short and longer term.
One thing I will say about these Australians, is they get off their arses and do something about it. A big convoy is planned from across Australia to converge on Parliamant late August. The Goal, to can the emissions trading scheme which in turn could bring down Gillards Govt. Lets wait and see.