Hi guys, been a relatively quite month , but some high lights. I fronted to Horizons on Tuesday 11th , for the Stratagy and Policy Meeting, to a screaming mob of vidulantes wanting to hang all Councillors for lack of decisive action over the Palmerston North City Council Waste Water Discharge. Had to run the gauntlet to get in the front door. I see the PNCC are appealing the abatement notice.

There has been a delay in  releasing Horizons Pest Management Strategy. It is now due for review, and a number of parties have expressed an interest in the way Horizons undertakes pest plant management and consultation with the community is therefore a requirement. Pest animal review is not due till 2014 but can be reviewed sooner should there be good reason. A good question is, are we merely farming oppossums at a regional catch trap rate of 5-10%.? see pgs 85-.

The proposed changes to transport passenger services funding will go out for consultation during the LTCCP. Signals increased Govt support from 5o%to 60%.

This flys in the face of a number of submissions previous Annual Plan consultation where submitters stated the opposite. Higher users pays charges. Could be interesting , but of course if the Govt is stumping up who cares. Transport road safety, up 10%, and planning up the same. See pg 104

I see  on pg 105 that there is a proposed differential rating system proposed for the environmental rates for oppossum control on properties greater than 500 hec. We already determind to reduce the properties to contribute  from 4hec – 2hec.

The biggy is the regional contribution to the AHB. Well blow me down. One moment certain people including staff are going hard out to run the AHB out of bussiness, and the next. Could it be that the same people are looking for a major sponser for a controversial educational tool ?

Wednesday the 26th  was Regional Council day. High lights were the strategic direction , pg 3. Alot of nonsense going on around the card , which states, under Our Goals. Economic, social, environmental, cultural .  One councillor played the game making a big deal out of it. Did not fool me, as the minutes state. For dissinsemination only. Means nothing. I voted accordingly, so those of you who have read the minutes and are confused by my voting. Thats the reason.

There is a report on the Regional Mayors forum held in Marton 15th April. Highlighted is the concern at the decline of our communities over the last 20 yrs and how to stop that decline continuing. All good stuff. At least one TA I know couldn’t give a toss, and in fact would seem to be encouraging the decline. 3 others, well if they realise they are sleep walking and one with a high profile Mayor stood up and tried. Not so sure whats going to happen there now.

We had a brief presentation from Mr Clint, Auditor Generals Office re the annual accounts. Noted a $3 million surplus and with further income adjustments including sudvention reciepts, newly identified assets, and asset revaluations, one would expect include, carbon, have rsulted in council ending the year with a total comprehensive income of $6 million. See pg 25

Mediation of the One Plan was next on the agenda, pg 28. The report signaled a stalled process on a number of fronts, and reference to a judical review.

I believe who is the lead agency is the point in question. On page 33 there is a small reference to Horizons being , again the lead agency for consent condition information and education. I queried this, as it seems to me that Horizons are going to lose the lead agency bit for land use see pg 28, yet are making sure they are in there still subjectively interpreting law to bring about the out comes extremists desire within the organisation. If Horizons are not the lead agency for land use consents then no way can they be the lead agency for the above.  

On pg 54 is the continuing saga of the PNCCWD . I fear Horizons are going to look silly over this. 2 reports surfaced at the much publised Strat and Pol meeting. Both Horizons and both contradictory. It would seem to me that the DRP discharge is the only breach, with monitoring of the sludge ponds being the other. But who can monitor if the well from which the monitoring is carried out dried up.  It appears the Minister, Nick Smith is taking a interest in this.

 Hopefully I have got the much needed review of the well beings, which drive staffs regard and effect to planning documents and regulatory matters on the agenda for the next Pol and Strat meeting. They are due for review, and are currently written Environment, Cultural, Economic. These must be reversed to drive our regional economy forward in a positive manner.

Pg 35 is a report on the proposed Taringamotu River scheme north of Taumarunui.

We had to scale the proposal back abit to fit the budgets of the requiring land owners. There is no loan requirement needed costing approximately $480,000 per ann with a 20% regional contribution of $12,000.

This scheme is for clearence of timber debri from the channel and with in a 10 metre strip along side of. There is provision for grants for some river bank works and stream bank fencing including the major works at 6 or so sites. Although this last point is seperate from the Scheme.  

There is a report on the Whirikino Stop Bank failure in 2004 that flooded large tracts of country, and Horizons have been found wanting. It seems the stop bank eroded under the bridge and nobody noticed. Horizons are appealing the High Court decision. pg 77.

We had a presentation from the new president of Fed Farmers. Mr Wills. Farms in northern Hawkes Bay. Loves polars, planting a 1000/ann. Spends all day tending to them when he is not in Wellington. Strong on the need to maintain a profitable food production chain whilst being environmentally sound in our farming practices. He stressed the importance of agriculture to NZ’s economy, contributing to 70% of NZ export receipts.

We also had a report from Vision Manawatu. Its all go lads. On wards and upwards . We can do it and followed the same vein as the Mayors Forum I reported on above. But Ms Rielly identified Ruapehu as being too far away.

The Carbon report I get, identifies the Govts great get rich quick scheme whilst doing nothing as being a bit depressing. As at the 21st October NZ spot market $11.09  and I believe it dropped lower since. The global carbon market looks precarious and expect it to trade lower.

My view is that there will be blood on the floor before this is all over. But that is for another day, another column quite soon. I have accumulated some good stuff.