Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme

Yeah Andrew…and you screwed it up

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber

Andrew Newman is blabbing to media about his volte-face less than 6 months after signing up to be HBRC Chief Executive.

Despite a moratorium, review, and a changed Hawke’s Bay Regional Council sentiment, departing CEO Andrew Newman says he remains optimistic the Ruataniwha Dam will progress.

I’ve got news for you Andrew, and it’s all bad. ? Read more »

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 »

Why is Maggie Barry trying to take 22ha from protected conservation land?

Who would ever have thought that a conservation minister would be going to the Supreme Court in order to remove 22ha of protected forest in order to build a dam and flood the park.

An environmental organisation is seeking support ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

Today environmental organisation Forest & Bird released a video showing “some of the public conservation land which will be destroyed if a land swap allowing New Zealand’s largest irrigation dam goes ahead”.

The land in question is 22ha of the Ruahine Forest Park, which has been subject to a legal battle over a proposed land swap.

In September the Court of Appeal upheld a Forest and Bird appeal which argued the land swap of the 22 hectares of the Ruahine Forest Park, for 170ha of land the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) would potentially buy from Smedley Station, was unlawful. ? 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”.

Read more »

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 »

The dodgy socialist dam is doomed

The first steps of ditching the dam have started:

The moratorium is subject to consultation between the council and HBRIC, to be completed by 14 December.

If the moratorium was put in place, HBRIC would stop any further expenditure on the dam and not take any further steps to acquire protected Department of Conservation (DOC) land for the dam.

Councillor Peter Beaven said the request shouldn’t cause any problems because HBRIC had already indicated it had put spending on hold.

Councillors voted 6-3 in favour of seeking a moratorium.

Read more »

There’s no mystery, he was an arsehole and refused to work with new councillors

The HB Today thinks it is a mystery as to why the CE of HBRIC has resigned in a huff.

Mystery surrounds the resignation of the man driving the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.

Yesterday it was announced the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company chairman Dr Andy Pearce had stepped down.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC), is the investment arm of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, and has been driving the controversial Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme (RWSS).

Dr Pearce had chaired the company since its formation in 2012. He was unable to be reached for comment yesterday.

In a statement on behalf of HBRIC, Dr Pearce was said to have been a driving force behind its strategy to grow the Hawke’s Bay economy. ?? Read more »

Dickhead council staff piss off new council

From the merry band of halfwits who completely alienated possible opponents of the dodgy socialist dam so much?that they are fighting a lot harder.

Regional Chairman Rex Graham has taken council staff to task for not working with councillors on the Havelock North water crisis.

Graham raised the issue at today?s (Wednesday) Regional Planning Committee meeting, which was held in front of a packed public gallery.

?There has been a lot of publicity around the Havelock water issue and we are taking a bit of flack around that,? Graham told staff.

?And it just concerns me that the governance have not been involved in any of these decisions that have taken place.?

The Chairman said this was not the first time governors had raised the issue of staff not working with them.

?I would just like to note we do want to be involved and informed of what the next steps of what the next steps of our executive [who are working on this],? he said.

?[Just] so we don?t get caught out when we read the paper or get rung by somebody else.?

Read more »

If it is so good John why don’t you invest in it yourself?

John Key is being a bit of a dick over the Ruataniwha scheme, and is suggesting he will ignore the voters of Hawkes Bay.

Prime Minister John Key said he would be surprised if the government did not help with rising costs should the Ruataniwha Dam project make it through legislative and local government challenges.

The Department of Conservation is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal stopped a land-swap to create the reservoir to irrigate 25,000ha of drought-prone farming and cropping land in Central Hawke’s Bay.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is driving the scheme but an anti-dam majority of councillors recently elected are stalling the project.

Mr Key said the area was a very important food bowl for New Zealand “and every so often there is a drought” costing millions of dollars.

“In terms of jobs and just peace of mind, I think it is important,” he said.

“Obviously there are environmental issues and they need to be considered, but it always struck us that the land swap that they were proposing was quite a sensible way through.”

When asked if the government would help top up the scheme – construction costs were calculated during a construction slump in New Zealand and have risen considerably – he said it was likely.

He said there was a lot of money in the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund “and we are not spending it as fast as we want to, because we are having to deal with these sorts of issues with the Ruataniwha”.

“I find it very difficult to believe there wouldn’t be some cash. That is the purpose of having the fund and it is quite big.”

Read more »