Fenton ‘Jong-un’ Wilson still living in a parallel universe


Kim Jong-un might be able to re-write history but Fenton Wilson can’t.

He’s trying, though.

A post-election power shift on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has put another question mark over the controversial Ruataniwha dam project.

But there will be little evidence of the political shake-up when the council gets back together in unusual circumstances this week.

In a rare move, councillors who held office before the weekend have been called to a meeting on Thursday to complete unfinished business.

Two newly?elected politicians will not take part in the meeting ? to sign off the council’s 2015-16 annual report ? because it is being held before their election wins become official.

The meeting was planned last month when the then-sitting councillors agreed they should be the ones to signoff on the past year’s report.

Their approval of the document was delayed when Audit NZ queried the council’s recording of “intangible” assets on its books related to the Ruataniwha water storage scheme.

Dodgy council, dodgy dam, dodgy plan, dodgy books. Now they are having a dodgy meeting to sign all that off.

Discussions between the auditor and the council’s commercial subsidiary, Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company, on the value of the assets continued until last week.

Thursday’s meeting is likely to be the last under the chairmanship of dam supporter Fenton Wilson who is now on a new council where five of nine members have expressed concerns about the way the water storage project handled over the past three years.

Wilson said while a post-election meeting of previous councillors was “very unusual”, the council’s advice was that councillors remained in office until the results of elections were formally published.

A spokesman for Local Government New Zealand confirmed that while “not common”, councils were able to hold such meetings where they had been unable to sign-off their annual reports before an election.

Still rather dodgy considering the step-change in the council make-up.

Wilson is likely to be replaced as chairman when the new council meets for the first time on October 26.

Paul Bailey, one of two new councillors and a strong opponent of the dam, said he supported calls made by other councillors for a halt to work on the Ruataniwha project as a “first step”.

The other new councillor, Neil Kirton, said it was “time to reflect on where we’ve got to and look at the options”.

But Wilson said it would be a complex and expensive task to unwind a series of council decisions over a number of years relating to the council’s planned $80 million investment in the scheme.

“I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s highly improbable.”

It isn’t complex at all. Just stop. The ratepayers have spoken and they don’t want the dodgy dam.

With these shenanigans,?I think it is time for the ratepayers to run an ‘Eff Off Fenton’ campaign and get him to resign. He has lost his mandate, only barely won in Wairoa and is little more than a withered appendage of council.


– Fairfax