Why doesn’t the HBRC enforce consents?

The Hawkes Bay Regional Council doesn’t enforce consents.

For ten years plus they have allowed the Central Hawkes Bay District Council to discharge above-limits town sewage into rivers at Waupukurau and Waipawa.

Now evidence is emerging of a lack of enforcement in the Chairman’s own patch at Wairoa.

It was revealed yesterday the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have known since 2013 that Waihi Dam was in breach of its resource consent.

The dam, owned by Eastland Group, began discharging silt into Wairoa waterways in December after a sluice gate was damaged in a storm, and was only repaired in March.

Under the terms of the company’s “water right”, which it has held since 1979, the group need to employ an ecologist once a year to carry out one-day field investigations. Water rights precede what is now known as a resource consent.   

When asked in February, the council’s resource use manager Wayne Wright said he was not prepared to comment on whether such work had been carried out by the company, or if there was a record of these field investigations, due to the ongoing inquiries into the situation.

However, yesterday Radio New Zealand claimed the council had requested copies of the yearly ecological survey, and a sediment survey Eastland were required to carry out every two years, in 2013.

They received one sediment survey in 2014 and no ecological survey because Eastland had not carried any out.

It reported the council said the company had breached its consent in respect of the surveys, but no penalties were incurred.

Now the dam is non-functioning and silting up the river.

If the Hawkes Bay Regional Council won’t enforce consents in Waipawa, Waipukurau and now Wairoa, what does it mean if the Dodgy Socialist Dam doesn’t comply with its own consents?


– HB Today

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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.