Hi people, alot is being reported to councilors  and I have noticed that now items that should be in the public arena are now being reported in the pink pages. 

One such is PX5  Regional Council agenda tuesday 22 March. Titled Mr Derek Postlewright. IRIS Project.

The next is PX 4 report no 11-42 , also deals with the court declaration Biodiversity, mentioned in my last post.

Also some where where I cannot find is something to do with a bunch of trees that fell over.

The meeting on 12 April ,Stratagy and Policy, some interesting items, one being the National Policy Statement on Bio Diversity, (proposed). This is turning into a dogs breakfast . It is supposed to be based on the ministry for the enviroments and dept of conservations joint statement of national priorities for protecting rare and threatened biodiversity on private land. I had input into the development of the PNPS and i requested that it be based on this document and was pretty chuffed when the PNPS was released for public discussion. But this soon turned to confusion when I and others attended the consultative round. It now appears that the LIENZ class 4 land is lands that have been mapped to see what biodiversity will look like in a 1000yrs time? in those environments, and mainly being coastal ,lowland and cropping areas of NZ. Heavens forbid if our high country is to be changed to another land use is the only reason we have escaped. It now appears that not being content with increasing biodiversity on our high country , Govt is determined to preserve what remains on the lowland, cropping and coastal lands with no nett loss, including provision for off sets. This to me is plainly decietful, and a abuse of process. not to mention the law.

Next we had Richard Thompsen chair of the Manawatu leaders River Accord give a verbal presentation .

He told us there is lots of good will between the participants. There are 9 subcatchments, each with different issues, and that it is going to be hard to moniture the effects/gains of the accord. Seemed to me it is a duplication of the One Plan but not regulatory in the ist instance . That turned to custard later. Turns out that it could be abit of a talk feast, but here’s hoping that realisim prevails. I wonder what the future relationship this project has with the RAMSA sight at the Manawatu river mouth . All that swamp. Its become a international site of importance. I voted against the recognition of this sight in the first instance as I recognised that sooner or later there could be a attempt to regulate the catchment to protect/ enhance this sight. And yes what have we in the development now. I note staff tried to hide this refference under some green ink last week. Very hard to see.

Note no sec 32.

On the 13th April we had the Catchment Operations Committee, of interest to my patch is the Taringamutu River Draft River Management Plan. Essentially clearing willows off river banks enabling the stream to flow through restrictions more easily reducing erosion of the stream banks. Quite a sucess with land owners virtually demanding the scheme. It also included the river and drainage report all of which is included in the ann plan,

 Also included was a report on the Moutoa scheme audit,and the Lower Manawatu Scheme. This scheme is really starting to capture some councillors attention as is the final price tag. I sudjested some time ago that it is time to consider dredging. You do not dredge the whole river or sections of it , you just identify the appropriate spot , and dredge across, day in day out. The river bed on the bottom side lowers for lack of silt, and the top side also lowers as it drifts into the trench created. Simple. I often wonder if this idea has been dismissed because it is not costly enough, or heavens forbid, that it will be plain for all the world to see where the majority of the sediment really comes from.

Also included in the agenda is SLUI. This yr staff/contractors are on target to map 55,00o hec. please note , this is no reason to rejoice. There was also a report on the replanting of a forestry right agreement in the Pohangina valley that blew over. This is important. I note that Horizons have no more such ventures on our books.

Regional Council was held on Wed 27 April and virtually every thing except the Chairs ,and CEO’s reports are in PX.

What I can report on is the Audit of Regional Councils by the Audit Office, in this case management of fresh water. Last audited in 2005, and found wanting. esp a lack of policy for water allocation and water quality, poor performance in compliance, poorly integrated science and research programme and a consents management regime which focused on process over outcomes. In other words no reliable science. I have reported on similer reports in the past. Honestly Horizons have provided enough evidence to shag themselves over the One Plan in their agenda items . Is any body but me reading these agendas.

Finally it looks like Maoridom are going carbon farming. I hope they have done their home work.

I did a quick analysis of a proposal some where near and quickly figured out that this particuler instance the farmer was losing out  on approx $530,000 in lost income by switching from sheep and beef to carbon at todays prices. No wonder these proposals to Horizons have dried up.

On the 30th and 31st March we had our council tour of the northern region. We did not quite get to the real northern region making it to National Park for the night.  More a side ways shuffle north. I note that we did not visit any sites of embarrsement to Horizons , such as the Rangitaua sewage scheme , which is relatively modern servicing a holiday home settlement, yet is supposed to hopelessly inadequate.  I note that staff in their submission to Ruapehu’s Draft District Plan are grizzeling about the lack of spend on sewage upgrade amonst other. This is a cut in the projected long term plan. May be this signals a change of direction from adding cost to already over burdened communities. I note staff grizzeling about the same with regard to National Park. Now this is a real win for me. Lets hope this is just not a blip. National Park sewage discharges eventually into the Whakapapa Catchment which has found it’s self in a Protected Areas Zone in the District Plan.

We had morning tea with Mayor Annette, in Wanganui, and visited a SLUI property in Raetihi.  Visited the Kai White project at the Orautaha school.

Visited the Whakapapa Intake, and had a insight into the time frames to reach  satisfactory agreements with regard to consent conditions with regard to submission /consultation process for the renewal of their consent to take water for generation.

Visited the Winstone Pulp Mill  and got a interesting presentation by mangement and a tour by staff .A council staff member asked if the owners had claimed their carbon entitlements. W.e recieved a emphatic NO. Reason It is bike you cannot get off. You have to keep buying land to plant to off set you liabilities. This has taken some thought on my part to try and get my head around . This could also be the reason for low amounts of carbon for sale. Only a few hundred tonne.

I also note that us hill country farmers took a real pissling with regard to erosion by staff and these lowland farmers/councillors. But not one of them took any notice of the horrendous erosion in the Ruahine Ranges, or around the base of Ruapehu. These areas of erosion cover huge areas carrying large trees with it yet seemingly do not exist to to those who do not want to see.

I also fitted in my recertification as a hearings commissioner, in Wellington. Good for personal development, all that RMA stuff, although it obviously confused some participnats who gasped in shock at the statements regarding who controls what effect. esp the TA’s roll and functions. I expect that the presenters will get a poor performance tick in that box.

And just recently I put my hand up for Simon Powers job representing Rangitiki, but alas not to be. Thanks to thoes who signed my nomination form.