Ruataniwha dam

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 »

Irrigation NZ goes nasty after dam criticism

Irrigation NZ, a vested interest if I’ve ever seen, ran shonky ads in the HB Today last week. Word is there are numerous complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority over the ads.

They were so wonky, and one-sided that one economist decided to take them to task.

Peter Fraser, Principal – R?pere Consulting, and long time critic of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, responds to the newspaper advertisements where Irrigation NZ attempts to “‘dam’ Ruataniwha myths”.

“Far from being a decisive and convincing expos?, the so-called ‘facts’ are unconvincing, disingenuous and internally contradictory” Mr Fraser said.

Mr Fraser made responses to the following Irrigation NZ statements:

? Claim: It is an economic gamble. Fact: 190 farmers have signed up to take water and numerous reports by reputable economists support the project?s objectives

o Response: 190 farmers represent approximately 40M m3 of the scheme’s 104M m3 capacity – so it remains an open question – and a risk to ratepayers – who will use the other 64M m3. It is also worth noting that the ‘reputable economist’ referred to by Irrigation NZ was employed by HBRIC and the cost-benefit analysis produced had to be calculated a second time after the scheme failed to meet the public sector discount rate the first time round. ? Read more »

Bruce Bisset: Scheme so cunning it’s diabolic

And you can pin a drowned rat on it.

It should come as no surprise the Ruataniwha irrigation scheme now has a National Government minister actively fighting in its corner, apparently willing to undermine the status of the very lands she is charged with protecting in order to birth this monstrosity.

Yeah. ?So much for New Zealand’s favourite grandmother looking after our conservation estate.

After all, National is fixated on the industrial farming model and see nothing wrong with polluted only-wadeable rivers and forcibly-chlorinated drinking water if it means being able to use our precious resources to churn out more cheap bulk commodities.

Whether the world needs them or not. And whether our farmers go broke producing them while our clean green image gets covered in excrement, or not. Read more »

Fat Tony fires up on the Dodgy Socialist Dam

Labour’s best ever fundraiser and solid operator behind the scene, Mike ‘Fat Tony’ Williams is fired up over the dodgy socialist dam.…and for a socialist that means something.

IT’S THE Local Authority Election season and I hope that given the contaminated water disaster in Havelock North, local voters will be more engaged with the process than they were last time round when only about four in ten eligible voters bothered to cast a ballot.

Having sold my property in Havelock North, I won’t have a vote this time, but as many of my family still makes its home in the Bay, I will be rattling many cages.

I will watch the results of the Regional Council election with great interest.

With the drinking water disaster in Havelock North, the local election should turn into a referendum on water management and as this a Regional Council responsibility; it is that Council that is and should be in the cross-hairs.

Yes, it should. It has become clear that the councils have no control over the waterways, either by design or through indolence and sloppy governance.

At present The Regional Council is divided five votes to four on the on the biggest water project, the proposed Ruataniwha Dam, with a narrow majority in favour of this massive gamble with your money.

The group of Councillors driving the project consists of Alan Dick, David Pipe and Christine Scott representing Napier, Chairman Fenton Wilson from Wairoa and Debbie Hewitt from Central Hawke’s Bay.

They would be desperately hoping that the whole matter was settled before the election which might well upset their plan for the dam.

Read more »

Who are the Dodgy Socialist Dam supporters this election?

As regular readers know this blog loathes?socialism and loathes those who make us pay for their dodgy socialist projects.

So, we have been right at the front of the campaign against the extremely dodgy Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, promoted by Fenton ?Jong-Un? Wilson, the chair of the extremely dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council.

In recent comments, we were asked which candidates support and which candidates oppose the dodgy socialist dam. This is the list (incumbents are underlined):

Dean Whaanga Opposes
Fenton ?Jong-Un? Wilson Supports
Paul Bailey ?Opposes
Alan Dick Supports
Moria Irving Supports
Neil Kirton Supports with a weasel clause, and will stop supporting it the moment it is in his own interest not to support it.
Martin Williams ??Supports

Read more »

Councilors behind Dodgy Dam going ahead anyway… without water

…the Appeals Court upheld the Forest & Bird appeal challenging DoC?s decision to downgrade, and swap to the Regional Council?s holding company (HBRIC), conservation land necessary for the CHB dam .

Without that land, there?s no reservoir for the dam to fill.

This is a huge victory for the environment, with important ramifications beyond Hawke?s Bay, because ? without this legal block ? DoC otherwise could have used the same shonky process to downgrade and trade conservation land elsewhere in NZ. Forest & Bird deserve great credit for their ?vigilance and persistance on the issue.

Where does this leave the dam? Certainly ?on hold? through the election window.

HBRIC chairman Andy Pearce told the Regional Council meeting today that he and his team were seeking to meet with the chief executive of DoC as soon as possible to review DoC?s plans. You can see the brief discussion on HBRC video when posted Thursday.

One option for DoC is to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Or, DoC could follow the directive of the Appeals Court and re-consider the proposed swap after a proper due course procedure, which would take time to organise and conduct, and the subsequent decision could?also be legally challenged. [Of course, another option, less likely, would be for DoC to abandon the matter.]

DoC and HBRIC will have a few weeks to sort out their next steps, if an appeal?is to be taken. Read more »

The Dodgy Socialist Dam faces another legal challenge

Greenpeace are the latest organisation to oppose the dodgy socialist dam in Hawkes Bay.

They have announced they are seeking overturn two resource consents.

Greenpeace NZ is launching a legal challenge against a controversial plan to build a dam that?s set to cost close to $1 billion and will pollute a region?s rivers.

Today, Greenpeace will file a judicial review of resource consents granted by the Hawke?s Bay Regional Council to extend the area of land area that can be irrigated by the Ruataniwha scheme, which will aid the expansion of dairy farms in the region.

The motion, to be lodged at the High Court in Napier, challenges two resource consents given to the Hawke?s Bay Regional Investment Company in January, which were granted without public notification on the basis of a Council assessment that any environmental effects would be no more than ?minor?.

Greenpeace?s agriculture campaigner, Gen Toop, describes the move to grant the consents without notifying the public as ?inconceivable?. ? Read more »

Dodgy conflict of interest issue for dodgy socialist dam is getting serious

Things are heating up now after a clear conflict of interest was discovered over the dodgy socialist dam at Ruataniwha.

Forest & Bird has made a formal complaint to the Auditor General and requested an investigation after it was revealed that a Hawke?s Bay Regional Councillor stands to benefit financially if the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme goes ahead.

Councillor Deborah Hewitt asked for an exemption so she could continue to participate in discussions and vote on significant decisions relating to the Hawke?s Bay Regional Council?s investment in the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

Councillor Hewitt owns property within the area that could benefit from water supplied by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam and the value of this land is expected to increase if the scheme goes ahead.

The irrigation zone in question appears to have been added to the Scheme in October 2015 and was a key reason the projected cost of the scheme spiralled to almost $900 million earlier this year. ? Read more »

Dodgy DOC deal appealed in dodgy dam case

The Dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council is still trying to force their dodgy socialist dam through and Forest & Bird is back in the Court of Appeal trying to get the council and DOC to follow the law.

The Court of Appeal has heard Forest & Bird’s appeal against the High Court approval of the downgrade of conservation land for Hawke’s Bay’s $900 million Ruataniwha water storage project.

In February the High Court approved a land swap in the Ruahine Forest Park between the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, to enable the dam to be built.

DoC is proposing exchanging 22 hectares of protected conservation land in Ruahine Forest Park for 170 hectares of farm land.

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 »