Fenton Wilson

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”.

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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.

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Will the HBRC cut funding to the Dodgy Socialist Dam?

Chairman Fenton ?Jong-un? Wilson reckons the dodgy socialist dam can?t be stopped.

[T]he council?s acting chairman Fenton Wilson said regardless of how any new councillors viewed the project, there was little any new council body could do until the critical Supreme Court case now in play was resolved.

That concerned the land swap where 22ha of Department of Conservation land on the dam site was being exchanged for 170ha of private land.

The Court of Appeal overturned a decision allowing that to happen and DOC and the Hawke?s Bay Regional Investment Company were appealing against that decision in the Supreme Court.

An outcome of that decision was not expected until next year.

?The Supreme Court decision has a very wide-ranging impact, not only upon the dam project but for other DOC land swaps proposed around the country.

?That includes the relocation of Franz Joseph village due to natural hazards ? it can?t happen without approval on that land.?

Wilson dismissed any talk about the election result requiring a moratorium on the dam?s construction.

?The decision had already been made by the council and we have a large institutional investor waiting in the wings for the court case to be resolved. The dam had been dealt with prior to the election.?

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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.

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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.

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Ways the Dodgy Socialist Dam could be ended

Fenton Wilson reckons his dam juggernaut can’t be stopped despite a change in the council now favouring anti-dam supporters.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chairman Fenton Wilson was today reserving judgment on the possibility the election results could can plans for the Ruataniwha water storage dam in Central Hawke’s Bay.

Looking likely to have been re-elected to Wairoa’s sole seat on the council, with a 198-vote preliminary result majority over single challenger Dean Whaanga, Mr Fenton also faces a possible challenge to the chairmanship in a council observers say has dam opponents now holding the balance of power, most notably with the election of Green Party strategist Paul Bailey as one of three representing Napier.

Learning election results while attending a family birthday gathering near Hastings, Mr Wilson, said talk of a reversal of the decisions for the dam to go ahead at a cost of more than $270 million was “cheap.”

“Unravelling decision of Council made over six years doesn’t happen overnight,” he said. “It’s possible, but improbable. I’ll reserve my judgement.”

Likewise he wasn’t jumping to conclusions about the final election result, reflecting on how at the last election the Council lost some of its veterans between the declarations of a preliminary result and the eventual outcome.

“I’ll roll with the punches at this stage,” he said.

Read more »

Will Fenton “Jong-Un” Wilson take a dip in the Tukituki?


Has Fenton “Jong-un” Wilson got the stones to swim in the Tukituki River?

Come on Fenton, take a swim. It’s safe you know.

The cleanliness of the Tukituki River will purportedly be “proven” by Hawke’s Bay Regional and Hastings District councillors this weekend, when they go for a “spring swim” in it – a message proclaimed by posters dotted around Hastings.

The flyers, which went up in the CBD at the weekend, state that councillors will prove to the public that there is no contamination in the Tukituki, by taking a dip in it this Sunday.

Although they feature the logos of both councils on them, representatives have denied any council involvement.

Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule said “this certainly has nothing to do with the council, and it’s certainly not for real”. ? Read more »

Winning the argument via headlines

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You know you are winning the argument when the Media party uses your turn of phrase in a headline.

Meka Whatiri has called into question some of the claims over the dodgy socialist dam at Ruataniwha.

Kiwis deserve better than “dodgy dam claims”, Labour’s Local Government spokeswoman Meka Whaitiri says.

The MP for Ikaroa-Rwhiti said as an environmental regulator, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s claims that the Ruataniwha dam would bring environmental benefits are not only false but deeply irresponsible.

Last week council chairman Fenton Wilson said he was confident that together, the Plan Change 6 and the Ruataniwha scheme would provide a win-win situation for our region: “Improving the quality and quantity of water in the Tukituki River, giving farmers a secure water source for their farming operations and injecting more money into our local economy.” ? Read more »