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Thursday
Jun182015

Leach's Breaches (Forestry!)

Readers will be aware of the concerns I expressed some time ago regarding the work being undertaken on Council land at the rear of the Whitianga Water Works that appeared to contravene the provisions in the Waikato Regional Plan, quite apart from the free access and occupancy being provided to Mayor Leach for his private forestry operation. 

Here is the post from 28 April One would have though that our Mayor would have been cognizant of the requirements of the Plan, and must surely have been aware of the cavalier manner in which his contractor was undertaking this work.

Here is the notification received from the WRC today:

Waikato Regional Council staff carried out a monitoring inspection of the site on 11 June 2015. This visit identified non compliance with Waikato Regional Plan (WRP) Permitted Activity Rule 5.1.4.11 which provides for vegetation removal and soil disturbance subject to compliance with that Rule and supporting conditions. Other activities subject to WRP rules were also observed.

Council staff are working with the harvesting contractor to achieve compliance. A further site inspection will be carried out early July to ensure the required rehabilitation works have been completed.

Kind regards

Catherine Robinson | Statutory Processes Advisor | Democracy Services Waikato Regional Council 

Some may consider my investigation of just what Leach was up to at Whitianga to equate to harassment, and possibly 'pay-back' for his attempts to villify me for my efforts to seek greater financial probity within Council, and the Ten Year Plan in particular. I totally deny any such charge. In fact, I have no fear of any action Leach may take to publicise my Auditor General and Ombudsman enquiries - such action constitutes nothing short of vindictiveness on his part, and I believe to be reflective of a totally unacceptable attitude that he has demonstrated towards me from the day he took office. He simply will not accept that anyone, other than compliant MSM lackey's is entitled to run any commentary on his and his Council's activities.

What is going on behind the Whitianga Water Works is of quite a different magnitude, and demonstrates in my opinion substantial conflict of interest, and untoward pressure placed on staff to agree to assist Leach's commercial interests. The WRC may well achieve compliance through "working with the contractor," but that in no way obviates Leach's need to behave responsibly, and in a a way that required no assistance, willing or otherwise from Council staff over and beyond that which any member of the general public may expect. That was certainly not the case with this particlar incident. His behaviour is supposed to be beyond reproach - faint hope!

I believe that there are grounds for the Chief Executive to undertake an internal enquiry in order to acquaint himself with the entire scenario that I outlined in my post, and consider action against staff who have clearly allowed themselves to be used by the Mayor for his personal benefit. But don't expect any such action, given the current relationship between the two.

Further, I have no intention of taking the matter to any Government instrumentality required to maintain surveillance over council staff and elected members. They have proved totally ineffectual to date in that regard. Just another example of the lowering of standards in our Council.

Here is the picture of the activity taken at the time:

 

 

 

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