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Ruataniwha Inquiry Commences Monday

Readers may wonder why I keep harping on about what is groing on down in Hawke's Bay over the Ruataniwha Dam, and its associated Inquiry that commences on Monday. This story by Geoff Cumming appeared in the the Saturday Herald, and is a very good summation of both sides of the argument - well worth a read.

The reason for watching what is going on down in Hawke's Bay is simply because aspects of fairness that have been highlighted are being challenged here in exactly the same manner - the desire by so called 'progressive' elements to skew the process, and override even the most elementary environmental dangers in the interests of what can only be described as self interest.

The Committee of Inquiry device has been used here in exactly the same manner as it appears to be being used in Hawke's Bay. It is a Government devised. and rather shallow means of throwing a smokescreen over proceedings, and enabling departments and regional authorities of give the appearance of providing a 'full and frank' means by which to get all the issues on the table. An 'independent' decision can then be arrived at thus deflecting criticism based on interests and associated bias.

The problem is that those chosen to head up such inquiries bring with them all their own prejudices and pre-conceived views, and have generally demonstrated a willingness in the past to arrive at 'safe' decisions.  Their selection is critical in ensuring a satisfactory outcome that fits precisely with the needs of of the proponents, albeit couched in terms that generally require all manner of additional environmental protections that provide the veneer of 'fairness'.

I repeat again that we must remain deeply sceptical of the decisions and protections that are imposed in regard to the Wilson's Bay aquaculture farming project currently working its way through the WRC processes. The commercial interests involved will be concerned to ensure the minimum of controls and conditions, and will undoubtedly apply enormous pressure to ensure this outcome, aware as they are of the overwhelming desire of Government, and the councils concerned to ensure that the project proceeds, no matter what.




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Reader Comments (1)

Hear hear Bill
Gone are the days when we might fairly assume that 'the system' was working in the interests of the community - where objectivity, impartiality, equity and fairness were some of the principles that guided decision making. Where elected representatives fairly represented all those that elected them, and, where staff were public servants, who were in the service of the public - the same public that funds them and their consequent activity. In this modern time, is it not an unreasonable assumption that 'big business,' profit and control are the predominant drivers of bureaucratic process; and, perhaps, that the interests of the few are looked after at the expense of the many?

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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