Will the HBRC claw back Andrew Newman’s pay rise?

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson

In April last year we posted about the extremely dodgy Hawke’s Bay Regional Council providing a massive pay increase for their CE, Andrew Newman.

If there is one ratbag that should resign over the failure of the dodgy socialist dam it is Andrew Newman, the CE of the HBRC.

This man is a disgrace, having wasted $13.2m of ratepayers and taxpayers money on a project that was so deeply flawed that the council was warned repeatedly over many years that their half witted approach to nutrients management was never going to be acceptable.

Instead he gets a massive pay-rise which takes him well into the 1% and makes him one of the very highest paid people in Hawkes Bay.

The council came under fire in February when it emerged it had approved an $84,000 back-dated pay rise for HBRIC CEO Andrew Newman.

Mr Newman, who stepped aside as the regional council’s chief executive to drive the Ruataniwha project, currently receives a $380,000-a-year pay package.

The pay rise was a disgrace at the time because only months earlier an independent evaluation had said Newman’s relationships with key stakeholders were not good and he only deserved a 2% pay rise.

The dodgy Hawke’s Bay Regional Council pushed through the pay rise regardless, without informing new councillors of this independent advice.  

If Andrew Newman had been successful in getting the dam built there may have been some merit in paying him a vast amount of money. But he hasn’t been.

Lets look at the failures on the dodgy socialist dam so far:

  1. External investors Trustpower and Ngai Tahu pulled out of investing.
  2. The council’s own model, the Tukituki River Instream Model, which was never adequately peer reviewed, was only released due to high court intervention.
  3. At the Board of Inquiry the TRIM model author admitted it was not fit for purpose.
  4. The BOI did not let the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council turn the Tukituki Toxic in its draft decision, so the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council got the decision changed.
  5. The High Court gave the appellants to this decision victory on all 12 points and referred the decision back to the BOI.
  6. The High Court awarded costs to the appellants.
  7. The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has been totally unwilling to release confirmed water sign ups amid rumours that they are not getting much water sold.
  8. The investment company will run out of money by the end of March unless they get a fresh injection.
  9. Relationships with key stakeholders are rumoured to be even worse now than before as the key stakeholders know they will beat the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council every time they go to court.

Chairman Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson and Councillors Scott and Dick should be held to account for giving this massive pay-rise without it being based on any success.

They would be wise to carefully consider their options before there is a serious witch hunt to find out why the council has wasted so much money on the dodgy socialist dam.

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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.