Andrew Newman

Yeah Andrew…and you screwed it up

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber

Andrew Newman is blabbing to media about his volte-face less than 6 months after signing up to be HBRC Chief Executive.

Despite a moratorium, review, and a changed Hawke’s Bay Regional Council sentiment, departing CEO Andrew Newman says he remains optimistic the Ruataniwha Dam will progress.

I’ve got news for you Andrew, and it’s all bad.   Read more »

HBRC Chief Executive falls on sword

Former HBRC chairman Fenton Wilson with Andrew Newman.

Andrew Newman, the piggy-eyed Chief Executive of the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, has seen the writing on the wall over the dam and decided just six months into his cushy job call it quits. This shows the utter stupidity of Fenton Wilson appointing him to the role ahead of the local body elections.

Andrew Newman announced to regional council staff this afternoon that he has resigned.

According to sources he told staff at 4pm today, and will formally announce it at tomorrow’s council meeting.   Read more »

Fenton Jong-un Wilson rises from the dead

You’d have thought that Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson would have shown a bit of humility after him and his team were spanked in the local body elections.

But no, even though he is a vanquished political zombie he just has to open his great big gob:

Regional councillor Fenton Wilson has challenged Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule to be open with his council’s spend on the investigation and Government Inquiry into the water crisis.

This call comes as Hawke’s Bay’s regional authority faces public scrutiny for shelling out $445,000 on an investigation into breaches of consent made by the Hastings District Council in the wake of the Havelock North water event.

HBRC was set to take the district council to court over the breaches, however its Chief Executive Andrew Newman withdrew the charges last year and instead issued the council with two fines totalling $1,000.

To date the regional council has spent in excess of $1 million on both the investigation and the Inquiry.   Read more »

Good God. Greenpeace and I agree on something

The toxic legacy of Fenton ‘Jong un’ Wilson at the Hawkes Bay Regional Council stumbles on with permission being granted for an appeal against the Court of Appeal decision to stop the dam taking 22ha of protected Conservation land.

Leave to appeal a land swap needed for the Ruataniwha Dam to go ahead has been granted – a day before the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council will vote on a moratorium on some activities relating to the dam.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court granted a leave of appeal requested in September from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd (HBRIC) and the Minister of Conservation.

This was to appeal a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal earlier that month, when Forest and Bird argued the land swap of 22ha of the Ruahine Forest Park, for 170ha of land HBRIC would potentially buy from Smedley Station, was unlawful.

This would have downgraded the protected conservation status of the Ruahine Forest land to allow it to be flooded as part of the water storage scheme.

In its decision yesterday, the Supreme Court stated the approved question for appeal was “whether the Court of Appeal was correct to allow the appeal and dismiss the cross-appeal”.

Read more »

Fenton ‘Jong un’ Wilson is going to learn what utu means

The new Hawke’s Bay Regional Council was sworn in yesterday and they have a new chairman after Fenton Wilson discovered the Ruataniwha dam wasn’t really an election winner after all.

Rex Graham has been elected as the new chairman of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Rick Barker was voted in as deputy.

This morning, the council’s nine elected regional councillors were sworn in at the inaugural council meeting.

A large crowd gathered at the council’s Napier’s offices where Mr Graham was elected unopposed.

After being nominated by former chairman Fenton Wilson and seconded by Mr Barker, Mr Graham received a unanimous vote.

Mr Barker was nominated by councillor Alan Dick and seconded by councillor Neil Kirton, and was also elected unanimously.

Read more »

HB Today editorial has a message for Fenton ‘Jong un’ Wilson

Fenton Wilson thinks the dam is still on, but the editorial in the HB Today points out a few salient facts about the political reality that he would do well to heed.

One thing about ratepayers is that when they get agitated about a particular issue, they use the next available election to make a statement.

Thus, it can be argued that voters in the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council elections, particularly the Napier and Hastings wards, have voted emphatically against the proposed Ruataniwha Dam.

The dam proposal, driven by council officials, was mostly given a green light by a 5-4 majority in favour on the old council. Chairman Fenton Wilson, deputy chair Christine Scott, Napier councillors Alan Dick and Dave Pipe and Central Hawke’s Bay representative Debbie Hewitt ensured that as many boxes as possible were ticked.

The anti-dam councillors, Rex Graham, Peter Beaven, Tom Belford and Rick Barker were always going to be on the losing side.

But, there seems to have been a groundswell building in Napier and Hastings. Increasingly this newspaper started hearing about normally conservative, pro-establishment residents of Napier being strongly opposed to the dam being built.

Some of them were retired accountants, CFOs and businessmen who had done the sums on the back of an envelope and decided that the financial case for the dam did not stack up.

Paul Bailey, until recently a Green Party office holder and avowed anti-dam campaigner, put himself up for election again, having been thumped in the elections three years ago.

This time he has found himself, along with incumbent Alan Dick and former councillor Neil Kirton, elected to the council. Mr Pipe and Ms Scott had not stood for re-election so there were two vacant seats.

Read more »

Hasn’t Andrew Newman heard of email?

Monday is the seventh time the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme has had a deadline for water sign ups.

All indicators suggest that they won’t make this deadline either. Worse still some of the original signatories are now having second thoughts and not signing amendments because the price of the water has now gone up to cover the massive blow out in the project. On top of that the ratepayers in areas where the towns have been taking water for free are up in arms that their local councils are signing up to take water and will of course introduce water rates to pay for it.

Meanwhile Andrew Newman can’t work out what his councillors email addresses are.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company Ltd says it is making steady progress towards its water uptake target for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

Farmers have until Monday 18 April to sign up as foundation water users of the irrigation scheme and receive early adopter discounts. Whether the scheme goes ahead is dependent on whether HBRIC Ltd can contract 45 million cubic metres of water before financial close.   Read more »

Fenton ‘Jong-un’ Wilson and a fair chance

The dodgy socialist dam is teetering on the brink as costs explode.

Plans for the controversial Ruataniwha Dam project need to be aborted, Labour says.

A report made public on Wednesday puts the cost of the irrigation scheme at more than $900 million – $300m higher than previous estimates.

Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Labour MP Meka Whaitiri said the new figures made the project completely unviable and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council needed to give up on it.

It was outrageous to expect ratepayers and taxpayers to pay an extra $100m for construction costs, and farmers an extra $200m, she said.

“Anybody in project management of this calibre would actually probably go, ‘what the heck, how could you get this so wrong’.

“I would encourage the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to start planning an exit strategy.”

Read more »

Farmers don’t want the water from the Dodgy Socialist Dam

Fenton "Jong-un" Wilson

Oh crap, the BOI shafted us again

One of the problems with socialism is that it allocates public money based on the opinion of a few governing people, rather than letting the market dictate where resources should be allocated.

This has always been one of the biggest reservations about the dodgy socialist dam in Central Hawkes Bay, where a few super egos including Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson, Andrew Newman and Andy Pearce think they know what is best for the agricultural businesses in Central Hawkes Bay. They are demanding that farmers buy their socialist water, despite most of the farmers not being interested in buying from them. The problem is that the price of the water is too high to make it economically viable.

Multiple award winning journalist Pete Fowler actually took the time to go to see some of the farmers in Central Hawkes Bay and ask them what they felt about the socialists trying to impose expensive water on them.

Radio New Zealand News visited six farmers in area that will receive water from the proposed water storage scheme, and all said they were not signing up to buy the water because it was not financially viable. Read more »

Is the dodgy socialist dam promoter coming unhinged?

As regular readers will know the extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council has lost just about every round of the legal battle over their dodgy socialist dam.

They lost in the Board of Inquiry first draft, so did something dodgy that then went to the High Court – and they lost on 12 points of law and had to pay costs.

They lost when they tried to hide the extremely dodgy TRIM model and were forced to release it to submitters after being told to by the courts. The TRIM Model was the basis of all the science behind the dam and was found to be not fit for purpose.

They lost to the Iwi on Plan Change 5, when they tried to say that if they fixed up one catchment they could turn another one toxic. The Iwi won this case and the court told them you cannot turn any catchment toxic just because you have fixed up another one.

Then there have been delays in getting farmers to sign up for the water, as they cannot make a profit from the water and were actually quite happy farming without socialism providing them with unprofitable water.

Sources in Central Hawkes Bay are saying that the dam promoter, Andrew Newman, has started to feel the pressure of these cumulative failures and is getting a bit frayed around the edges. This is concerning the local body politicians in Central Hawkes Bay who really need Andrew Newman not to unravel before he gets the dam built.     Read more »