Dodgy Socialist Dam Gets it in the Arse

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

Regular readers will know I am a staunch opponent of bludgers or corporate welfare, and of ruining our rivers with pollution.

These two pet hates come together in the dodgy socialist dam being promoted by the extremely dodgy Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

The dodgy dam and the even dodgier Hawke’s Bay Regional Council got a big kick in the arse today with the High Court finding in favour of Fish and Game on all 12 points of law, and awarding costs.

A High Court judge has ordered the board of inquiry for New Zealand’s largest irrigation scheme, the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in Hawke’s Bay, back to the drawing board on the out-clause it created to allow 615 larger farms to dodge a stringent new water quality rule relating to nitrogen leaching into waterways.

The decision is a significant win for the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, the Hawke’s Bay and Eastern Fish and Game Councils and the Environmental Defence Society, all of which appealed elements of the board’s decision to exempt all farms larger than four hectares from having to comply with its finding that levels of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in the Tukituki River, downstream from the proposed Ruataniwha dam, should be less than 0.8 milligrams per litre.   

The proposed out-clause created “a factual fiction” that “approximately 615 farms are deemed … not to be contributing to excessive quantities of DIN entering waterways in the catchment area when in fact they are likely to be doing so.”

“While constructing a factual fiction may not in itself amount to an error of law, when the effects of that factual fiction are taken into account in the context of this case, it becomes apparent that an unsatisfactory state of affairs is created,” the judgment of Justice David Collins, issued this morning, says. This was “difficult to reconcile with the board’s desire to imposed controls over the discharge of nitrogen in order to manage the ‘ecological health’ of the catchment area.”

Factual fiction is pretty strong words, and costs have been awarded to the outfits taking the case.

What the extremely dodgy Hawke’s Bay Regional Council wanted to do was turn the Tukituki Toxic by setting levels of Nitrogen at toxicity.

Toxicity means what is says, the river would have become toxic, all so 150 farmers could pollute the river.

One of the fudges they used was that the total combined pollution needed to be taken into account, rather than the individual farms managing pollution to set levels.

Essentially the extremely dodgy Hawke’s Bay Regional Council wanted to give a free right to pollute to 150 agriculture businesses, and make us all fund their dam to begin with.


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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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