Ruataniwha explodes in Minister’s face

I’ve been blogging about the ill-conceived plan for the Ruataniwha dam and wrecking the Tukituki river in the process. On top of that the council and government are plowing ahead committing taxpayer and ratepayer funds to a dam with little economic benefit.

I’ve been attacked for my stance but now the evidence that I have been aware of for several months is starting to leak into the public domain.

This is not going to have a good outcome for Nick Smith.

A draft Department of Conservation submission on the Ruataniwha Dam water storage project says the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council proposal is a risky and untested approach to water management which could kill the rivers involved.

The draft submission obtained by Radio New Zealand News was written for the Board of Inquiry into the dam, but was not submitted. Instead, DoC submitted a brief “neutral” document which does not raise concerns about what could happen to water quality and the dangers for at-risk fish species in the Tukituki and Waipawa Rivers and tributaries. 

The cover-ups, re-writes and out-right lies are going to burn more than a few people, especially as it is now a local body election issue in the Hawkes Bay that is getting very heated.

The vested interests, the liars and the cheats are likely to wind up being dumped in a very big pile of poo of their own making….starting with Nick Smith.

Smith said he simply told the department “they needed to be careful” when making submissions in his name on an issue where he was the final decision-maker.

“The board of inquiry is there to make decisions about plan changes in respect of Ruataniwha, and the board of inquiry, after it’s considered its submissions, it makes a recommendation about a plan-change decision that ultimately I make,” he said.

“Now for me then to be making submissions to that board of inquiry strongly advocating one point of view or other … is one that the department needs to be careful of.”

Nick Smith claims the department was not silenced, yet in his own words he describes very clearly an implied threat to them that they needed to amend their report so he wouldn’t look bad…that sounds like censorship to me.

Nick Smith was rehabilitated to the ministry after interfering in his department on behalf of friends…now he is back interfering in a department again.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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