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Ratepayers Prevail At HBRC

At last Hawkes Bay ratepayers have had their say, and removed the previous odious majority that had driven the outrageous Ruataniwha Plan against advice, court decisions, and public opinion. You can only get away with that for a certain time, and now that time has arrived with a new-look Council determined to reverse the previous decisions, led by former Chair - Fenton Wilson whose intransigence beggared belief.

Wilson preserved the appearance of unity by nominating Rex Graham at the last moment as sole nominee as Chair, and Rick Barker was nominated as Deputy who has long been in the anti-camp. 

It is only a matter of time before the new Council passes the necessary motions to ensure a staged withdrawal from the previous commitments at Ruataniwha. That will bring about a huge sigh of relief around the electorate, and a gnashing of teeth amongst the farming sector that stood to benefit, and the legal fraternity who stood to gain hugely from the proposed legal action in the High Court. That action is designed to overturn the Court of Appeal decision on DoC's gutless submission to the demand for a precedent setting redesignation of 22ha of National Park to meet the needs of the dam. 

Of course, there will be wider political ramifications - namely the clear and obvious support, if not direction given DoC by its Minister - Maggie Barry, who gave the appearance of acting on the instructions of Cabinet to follow the Court trail. The commitment to break whatever rules and laws necessary to achieve the desired Government outcomes in the irrigation, aquaculture and forestry sectors having been obvious from the outset.

Every politician needs to sit up and take note of what has happened in Hawkes Bay - the electorate can only be pushed so far before it bites back on matters that it considers have an importance beyongd the desired economic benefits desired by sectoral interests. Economic survival can be managed without resorting to measures that will change the landscape our grandchildren inherit, simply to benefit these selfish sectoral interests to whom our government appears ready to pander. 




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