Waipukurau

Legal signals that the dodgy socialist dam is rooted

After the moratorium on progressing the dodgy socialist Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme was voted on and won, there was some other interesting news.

News, that if true shows the extraordinary lengths the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, under Fenton  “Jong-un” Wilson, were prepared to go to force the dam through come hell or high water.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has today laid charges against the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council in relation to its wastewater treatment plants in Waipukurau and Waipawa.

CHB District Council faces three charges of breaching its consent conditions in relation to discharges of contaminants from its Waipukarau and Waipawa wastewater treatment plants.

The CHB District Council’s resource consents allow for a certain number of exceedances during a 12-month period.

HBRC claims the district council has passed that limit at both plants.   Read more »

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.    Read more »

The Central Hawkes Bay dickhead mayor has a challenger

Peter Butler is a total dickhead, and prone to flashes of anger and outbursts.

Now he has a challenger.

Central Hawke’s Bay businesswoman Alex Walker is throwing her hat into the ring and standing for mayor at this year’s local body elections.

To date, the only other candidate to come forward and announced they will bid for the mayoralty is current CHB mayor Peter Butler.

Ms Walker said she was standing with an aim to providing a young, fresh approach to council leadership in the district.

“My vision is for a vibrant, innovative and energetic community,” she said.

“We have important opportunities facing our district as water and regional investment increases and we need to be ready to make the most of them.

“We need local governance that is sustainable, future-focused, customer friendly, and positive in its leadership of our people.”

Read more »

Pressure building over dodgy socialist dam

Pressure is building over the dodgy socialist dam being proposed by the dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council.

Four councillors, fed up with being kept in the dark and the public being kept in the dark, have embarked on a series of public meetings to inform ratepayers what their council have been up to.

It has become rather testy.

Calls for resignations were levelled at HBRIC board members at last night’s Ruataniwha Dam meeting.

The forum, the first of a series of four such discussions, was the hottest ticket in Hastings, with more than 250 people turning up. HBRIC board members Andy Pearce, Jim Scotland and Sam Robinson were also in attendance.

Organised by Tom Belford, Rex Graham, Rick Barker and Peter Beaven at Karamu High School, the regional councillors started the conversation.

Mr Graham made it clear that while it supported water storage, it was the role of the council to support and encourage private farmers’ investment and not frustrate it.

“In fact, our job is to be the regulator and insure that our rivers and streams are safe and that our farming industry, which is so important to us, works in harmony with our environment,” he said.

Mr Belford focused on the potential environmental ramifications of such an undertaking.

“Before looking at any water storage scheme the regional council should first demonstrate that it can and will ensure a cleaner, safer river by reducing nutrients and more substantially increasing flows,” he said.

Read more »

Shameful lack of detail from HBRIC on Ruataniwha

I attended a public meeting in Napier last night about the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

The meeting was supposed to provide information for ratepayers from opposing sides. An admirable aim from the HB Today.

However it seemed it was a lopsided affair from the get go.

The meeting was standing room only as pro-dam supporters bussed in supporters from down Waipukurau way. There was also no public input, other than questions put to the opposing side harvested from readers of HB Today.

The real travesty though was from HBRIC, the regional council owned “investment” company who rolled in a  tag team of opinionated wankers who proceeded to hijack any discussion with rude asides about their opponents, had twice as much or three times the amount of access to the microphone, and their rowdy supporters calling time on any opposing speaker before they really got going.

What was really shameful though was that all the barracking rude comments were led by the Central Hawkes Bay District Council Mayor, Peter Butler. This is the mayor of a district and he was barracking against speakers from the get go.

Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson took a much lower key approach, hiding in the audience (he appears to have had a hair cut), even when his team lacked the courage to answer one particularly tough question put to them.

fenton

Fenton “Jong un” Wilson. (The green boots to the left are those of Green MP Catherine Delahunty)

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Useless CHB Council still pouring shit into rivers

The Central Hawkes Bay Council are doing their level best to make Kaipara look competent.

They had ten years to sort out their brown water going into the Waipawa River, and failed. They now have failed in to meet the conditions that were imposed when their consents were breached.

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has failed to meet a requirement spelled out in an abatement notice that ordered it to stop dumping poorly treated sewerage into the Tukituki and Waipawa Rivers.

The regional council issued abatement notice to the district council for its wastewater plants at Waipukurau and Waipawa, both of which are failing to meet resource consent conditions.

The plants discharge to the Tukituki and its tributary the Waipawa River.

The plants were given a $6.6 million upgrade that used “floating wetlands” in order to meet new consent conditions imposed by the regional council from October last year.

The district council chose the wetland option despite the regional council having paid $1.6m for 130 hectares of land that was planted with the intention of using a land-based discharge system.

The notices, issued on January 26, set out specific steps to be taken by the district council, and the dates by which they must be completed.

While work on the Waipawa plant is ahead of schedule, the council has failed to complete site works at the Waipukurau plant by April 24, as required under the notice.

Read more »

Prosecute the polluting councils

Simon Lusk, with Bruce and Mabo who seem disinterested with all the fuss of photos when they'd rather be hunting

Simon Lusk, with Bruce and Mabo who seem disinterested with all the fuss of photos when they’d rather be hunting

Councils are supposed to uphold by-laws and they do against their own ratepayers.

Recently we say a farmer prosecuted for polluting a stream because of his ham-fisted method of willow tree extraction. Farmers and businesses are regularly prosecuted as well by councils when unauthorised or exceesive discharges are made into stream and rivers.

But what do you do when the polluter is the council, and the Regional Council above them refuses to prosecute them.

That is what is happening in the Hawkes Bay where the Central Hawkes Bay District Council is continually breaching sewage discharge permits and has been for more than 10 years.

If it was a farmer they would have been hauled before the courts and prosecuted and fined massive amounts of money…but not this crowd.

The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council could face private prosecution of its members over failures of its wastewater system.

The council is in breach of discharge consents which have been in place just three months.

The possibility of the prosecutions has been raised by Friends of the Tukituki spokesman and political campaigner Simon Lusk, who told Radio New Zealand if the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council would not prosecute, then the group would look at prosecuting CHB councillors and Regional Council staff, Mr Lusk says, are “failing to uphold their statutory obligations”.

CHB Mayor Peter Butler said “they” had threatened the council with prosecution before, and council chief executive John Freeman said he received a letter from the group last month. “My understanding is you can’t prosecute against individuals on the council,” Mr Freeman said. He said the two councils and the Friends of the Tukituki “all want the same outcome” – to ensure the river is free of any unwanted discharge.

“Any prosecution would be a distraction and a waste of time and money which would be better spent ensuring it [the system] is up and running properly,” Mr Freeman said. Regional council staff have decided against prosecuting the council despite six breaches of the discharge consents since they came into effect in October.

Read more »

Stop pouring crap into our rivers

I really wish councils would get their act together and stop people from pouring crap into our rivers.

This time however I’m not getting up farmers, rather the townies and their council who want to keep pouring crap into the Tukituki rover.

Interestingly it is the same river the Hawkes Bay Regional Council wants to turn toxic with their dodgy socialist dam at Ruataniwha.

A report has raised “serious concerns” with the new $6 million wastewater plant in Central Hawke’s Bay.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council study showed despite a recent upgrade that harmful bacteria and wastewater were being released into the Tukituki River at unacceptable levels.

Resource consents regulating the discharge of wastewater from the plants were changed on October 1, requiring a significantly higher standard of wastewater.

Prior to the change, the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council decided to construct floating wetlands to meet the new treatment standards.

The wetlands were constructed last year at Waipawa in July and in Waipukurau in September.   Read more »

Pouring shit into rivers

It isn’t just dairy farmers that pour shit into rivers. Councils are doing it too.

This has happened for years all over the country, and councils have failed to take action. Usually they put off fixing sewerage schemes so the next council has to raise rates to fund a scheme, and try all sorts of weasel clauses to get out of stopping pouring shit into rivers.

I met some people in Hawkes Bay who have been trying to get the Central Hawkes Bay District Council to stop pouring shit in to the Tukituki and Waipawa rivers since 2004. In 2008 they thought they had an Environment Court ruling and some resource consents that told them they could only pour shit into rivers until September 30th, 2014.

Now they are claiming to ratepayers they have another ten years in their latest newsletter. They don’t. They have to obey the resource consents unless they get approval from the private citizens who litigated against them to get the final date. The chances of the private citizens agreeing to a change apparently is nil, but expect the council to weasel out if they can.

If you don’t think it is good enough to pour shit into rivers you can tell the CHB council by submitting to their draft Long Term Plan.

Tell them you expect them to adhere by the following consents:

Waipukarau Discharge DP030231Wa & DP030859Aa
Waipawa Discharge DP030232Wa & DP030860Aa

You can see where the shit goes into the Tukituki from the settling ponds in the picture below.

The Waipawa has shit poured into it here: