Hawke’s Bay

Idiot Nat MP should put his money where his mouth is

When politicians gob off in opinion pieces with local newspapers they really need to be struck about the head with a length of 2×4.

Alistair Scott has written expressing his support for the Ruataniwha Dam.

He is a rich man, will he invest in the dam, if not why not?

One of the major issues facing the Hawke’s Bay at the moment is the future of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme (RWSS). As many people are probably aware the RWSS has faced some major hurdles recently and its future is not yet certain. There are currently four challenges to be completed in order for the RWSS to proceed. If they succeed, the RWSS will improve economic and environmental security for the Hawke’s Bay.

The biggest hurdle is the Board of Inquiry and then the High Court have found that contrary to claims by promotors the dam will actually turn the Tukituki river toxic. When I say toxic, you won;t be able to let the water touch your bare skin…it will be wader only.

The construction of the RWSS is expected to increase employment in the Hawke’s Bay by 3.5 per cent and GDP by 4 per cent.

Secondly, farmers must agree to take up at least 40 million cu m of water by the financial close.

Two problems there…it is temporary employment and there is no way anyone can guarantee that let alone a politician. The second problem is that no farmers will sign up for water. Alistair Scott is wealthy, he should look at the prospectus then tell us why he will invest or not.   Read more »

Dodgy Socialist Dam proposal is actually illegal

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

Radio NZ reports:

Consent applications for the $600 million irrigation scheme spearheaded by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are still before a board of inquiry.

Under the proposal, 22 hectares of land in the Ruahine Forest Park would have its protection status removed so it can be flooded as part of the 450 hectare water storage lake.

But Forest and Bird advocacy manager Kevin Hackwell said the Conservation Act did not allow for disposal or exchange of protected land.

He said plans to set aside another section of land for conservation purposes also conflicted with the Conservation Act and the proposal was a long shot.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council can’t win a trick.

I bet Forest and Bird have sat on this for ages and just waited until the fools at HBRC made a dumb play, then BOOM they nail them with this.

The proposal has been a dog from the start. The proponents haven’t had nearly enough information to stand their ground, have lost in every court action, got rinsed in the Board of Inquiry and yet stupidly press ahead with even this latest land-mine unresolved.

It is high time Fenton ‘Jong-un’ Wilson fell on his sword along with the paid council staffers who have pushed this dodgy socialist dam along at great expense for no discernible benefit to the ratepayers.

 

– Radio NZ

Dodgy Socialist Dam Pushes out Deadline

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

The dodgy socialist dam in Hawkes Bay was supposed to have a financial close of 31st of March. By then it was supposed to have signed up all the water users it needed to, but it hasn’t, not even getting half the water it needs signed up.

The report also reveals HBRIC has again pushed out the expected “financial close” date for the project – its self-imposed deadline for finalising a construction contract, reaching its farmer sign-up target and securing corporate and government funding – which was March 31 but is now June 30.

Unfortunately for the promoters they have not even got half the water signed up.   Read more »

Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson is Dreamin’

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

The dodgy socialist dam has apparently got backers according to Chairman Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson.

A potential corporate investor is lined up to undertake due diligence once resource consent issues related to the Ruataniwha dam are finalised, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s chairman says.

Fenton Wilson told a Grey Power meeting in Napier yesterday that the farming community in Central Hawke’s Bay “aren’t ready to sign up en masse” to the take water from the irrigation scheme until a board of inquiry finishes re-working consents for an associated environmental plan change.

“Some have and some are poised ready to go but they want to understand how that [plan change] would work,” he said.

Read more »

What is Lawrence Yule Playing At?

Local Government NZ Chairman Lawrence Yule went on the bludge trying to get government to give Local Government new ways of raising revenue.

He got soundly thumped by the Prime Minister who is politically astute enough to realise that voters are seriously pissed off with the never ending rates rises councils impose on them.

When you start following the news in Hastings, where Yule is mayor, you start to understand why he needs more revenue. First up he spent millions on the Opera House, when everyone knows the NZ public don’t want to see the opera. Unfortunately for Lawrence he didn’t work out that the Opera House was not up to earthquake specs, so it is now closed with ugly fences around it preventing entry.

Sources in the Hawkes Bay property industry say that fixing the Opera House is going to cost between $5 and $10m that the ratepayers of Hastings don’t really have. So I wonder why Yule is hell bent on building another vanity project, the Civic Square, pissing away another $7m of ratepayers money on something that no one really wants.

Typical of local government ratbags Yule is excluding the public on decisions about the civic square, and some of his councillors are up in arms about it.

Hastings District Council has been accused of “playing secret squirrel” with ratepayers’ money after a meeting about a planned Civic Square upgrade was held behind closed doors.

Councillor Simon Nixon said he was opposed to the public being excluded from yesterday’s council meeting.    Read more »

Why business people generally make poor politicians

Stephen Franks has a considered piece about why business people make poor politicians.

Few business people are good at democratic politics. They expect what works in business to work in democracy. They’re frustrated by the messy necessity to maintain a working consensus, by multiple conflicting objectives, and by the unreliability of delegates.

They think that if only the right people were in charge, the best structures and systems would be like those in business, where everyone accepts single prevailing decisions from nominated rulers, and he who pays, rules.

Business people who get embroiled in politics commonly hate it so much they eject before they flame out. Those who survive and learn may be small in number but they are among the best we have, and we owe them a lot for their patience.

Many good business people are equally hopeless in assessing policy. I could not count the number of times I’ve heard the idiocy that the RMA is a good law, with nothing seriously wrong with it except how it is administered by council people who are stupid or wrongly motivated. These business defenders have no idea that they’ve just explained exactly why the RMA is  so badly conceived and written as to besmirch the rule of law.

They’re misled by objectives. In business, if you can get your objectives clear, and set them out for your staff, much of the work is done. But the promoters of all law recite noble objectives, usually purposes we can all agree on.  The key problem in both policy and law-making is the unintended, often the application of law for purposes never thought about.

What distinguishes bad law from good law is simple. Well designed and drafted law works whether or not ‘idiots’ are in charge. It is predictable because it limits what rulers can do. It is very carefully  designed knowing that people of malign intent will try to misuse any law. Frequently they will have power. Good law is drafted by wise sceptics about human nature. It remains predictable in effect despite attempts to distort it.

Read more »

Dodgy socialist dam running out of time and money

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

As regular readers will know the extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council has been struggling to get their dodgy socialist dam off the ground for a long, long time.

Unfortunately for the promoters of the dam they have managed to alienate just about all serious stakeholders, who are now completely unwilling to work with the council in good faith.

This wouldn’t have occurred if the socialists hadn’t done things like refuse to release their extremely dodgy model to submitters until forced to by the courts, or complaining about stakeholders staff.

The socialists were handed their arse by the High Court, with that court finding in favour of appellants on all 12 grounds and awarding them costs. So they have been sent back to the board of inquiry.

Now the socialists are worried that they will be further delayed by people they have treated badly for years, people who will hold up the dam because they don’t like the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council staff or councillors.   Read more »

Prosecute the polluting councils

Simon Lusk, with Bruce and Mabo who seem disinterested with all the fuss of photos when they'd rather be hunting

Simon Lusk, with Bruce and Mabo who seem disinterested with all the fuss of photos when they’d rather be hunting

Councils are supposed to uphold by-laws and they do against their own ratepayers.

Recently we say a farmer prosecuted for polluting a stream because of his ham-fisted method of willow tree extraction. Farmers and businesses are regularly prosecuted as well by councils when unauthorised or exceesive discharges are made into stream and rivers.

But what do you do when the polluter is the council, and the Regional Council above them refuses to prosecute them.

That is what is happening in the Hawkes Bay where the Central Hawkes Bay District Council is continually breaching sewage discharge permits and has been for more than 10 years.

If it was a farmer they would have been hauled before the courts and prosecuted and fined massive amounts of money…but not this crowd.

The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council could face private prosecution of its members over failures of its wastewater system.

The council is in breach of discharge consents which have been in place just three months.

The possibility of the prosecutions has been raised by Friends of the Tukituki spokesman and political campaigner Simon Lusk, who told Radio New Zealand if the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council would not prosecute, then the group would look at prosecuting CHB councillors and Regional Council staff, Mr Lusk says, are “failing to uphold their statutory obligations”.

CHB Mayor Peter Butler said “they” had threatened the council with prosecution before, and council chief executive John Freeman said he received a letter from the group last month. “My understanding is you can’t prosecute against individuals on the council,” Mr Freeman said. He said the two councils and the Friends of the Tukituki “all want the same outcome” – to ensure the river is free of any unwanted discharge.

“Any prosecution would be a distraction and a waste of time and money which would be better spent ensuring it [the system] is up and running properly,” Mr Freeman said. Regional council staff have decided against prosecuting the council despite six breaches of the discharge consents since they came into effect in October.

Read more »

Is Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson giving up on the dodgy socialist dam?

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

The Chairman of the extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council looks like he may have worked out that the lumpenprolitariat are not buying into his grand vision.

In the local paper in Hawkes Bay he had the following to say about the dodgy socialist dam.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chairman Fenton Wilson said getting a resolution on the Ruataniwha dam was one of his council’s top priorities, but was part of a busy programme that included a range of initiatives such as finalising a regional transport plan and a biodiversity strategy.

Read more »

Who is in charge of the Dodgy Socialist Dam?

Councillor Tom Belford highlights what can only be described as a lie to councillors about the Dodgy Socialist Dam.

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has been soundly thrashed at every stage of the Board of Inquiry and High Court, yet the councillors are not in possession of the facts.

This is an absolute disgrace. Here is what Cr Belford mentions in a recent blog post talking about how the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council gets schooled every time its dodgy socialist dam gets scrutinised properly.    Read more »