Protests growing in Hawkes Bay

Yesterday there was a tractor protest in the Hawkes Bay from angry farmers…over water, unsurprisingly.

Angry growers are hoping to force change at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, with a campaign involving a “tractor march” to the council’s offices in Napier on September 18 to protest at its water policies.

The Grower Action Group (GAG) says it was treated shabbily by the council during this summer’s drought and has launched a Hang Up Our Boots campaign, with boots strung up on Havelock Rd at a paddock between Hastings and Havelock North, owned by one of Hawke’s Bay’s largest growers, John Bostock.

The group claims that without sensible water management in Hawke’s Bay we may as well all “hang up our boots”.

Twyford growers suffered losses after the council shut off all irrigation due to low river levels, denying water to stop young trees from dying. Trees in Hastings’ Twyford are not deep rooted because the water table is usually high.

Mr Bostock said regional councillors were asked to come to a meeting of Twyford growers at the height of their drought concerns, “but they were not to be seen”.

“If we don’t have sensible water management in Hawke’s Bay we may as well all hang up our boots,” Mr Bostock said.?

As I have stated before the bombast and arrogance of the council knows no bounds and is no different in this case.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chairman Fenton Wilson said the accusation that council did not engage with Twyford growers was “absolute bloody rubbish”.

He said an agreement was reached with growers after “the realities around a consenting regime had been negotiated”.

No Mr Wilson it is your attitude that is absolute bloody rubbish. The growers are angry because no one bothered to communicate or even turn up for public meetings. It should come as no surprise to you that people are angry and wanting to toss the council out. Unfortunately Fenton Wilson shows the sort of bovine stupidity you’d expect from someone like Nathan Guy.

As I have said before the situation in Hawkes Bay is going to get more and more tense, especially once documents start getting leaked and making it intot he public arena.