Hello again people. here is my submission to Horizons LTCCP that I reffered to in last months post. How appropriate it was, as only a matter of weeks later the Whanganui and Rangitiki Districts were hammered by the worst flooding event in a 100 years or more. Even worse than the 2004 floods, which caused more than a $140 million in damage. The Whanganui River rose/raced to 4740 cu mecs per second at 3.am on Sunday June the 21st, higher than the previously recorded record of 4680 cu mecs recorded in 1904.  Source the NZ Herald, Monday June 22 pg A3. The social media full of pictures of the beach at the river mouth covered in 1000’s of tonnes of broken and twisted logs.  I predicted it. I said it was coming. But not because of Global Warming or anything else. No. Deliberate Council Policy is the reason. Read on.

For your information I included refferences, data, and copies of the documents that I refer to in my submission that you the reader will not have access to unless you contact Regional Council or my self and ask for.

Good afternoon Coucillors.

Thank you for the opportunity to make this submission.

I take it as read my thoughts on the Animal Health Board funding.

The review of the significance policy is a policy of concern to me. Not so much that it needs to be strengthened, but rather that council needs to recognise that by and large our communities are all under financial and social pressures of one kind or another, and that any or all tinkering, no matter what, could have adverse effects on our communities Health ,Wealth, Social and Cultural needs, and therefore needs to be considered with caution. I consider that the requirements of the Local Government Act are adequate. Local Government must do better at at consulting instead of paying lip service.

Horizons Sustainable Land Use Initative. Whole farm Business Plans and Farm Stratagy’s. This is not a programme that in my view, that is about Sustainable Land Use, but instead achieving political out comes.

If one looks at the map found in report 11-130, Catchment Operations Agenda, August 2011, and relates this to the map depicting the status of Maori Land in the Waimarino Blocks, which identifys private Iwi and Hapu Claims, including the Wai 903 Claim provided in this submission, one can see that in most instances the SLUI, WFBP’s and Farm Stratagy programmes are sitting right on top of or next door to to these claims at this time and stage of the implementation of the programme being August 2011. It is my view my view that this the same for Whanganui, Rangitiki, Taihape and Taurarua Districts. I also include the Tahora District in the Stratford District Council boundaries, whose catchment flows into the Whanganui river. Here we have the Infamous Confiscation Line, and which incidently is nearly all planted in Pine trees.

If one takes particular notice of the Waimarino claim, one would be shocked to note that the Ruapehu District Council tried to capture the Manganui-te -ao and Whakapapa river catchments with the requirements of section 4 of the Conservation Act. This referes to. The Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. (Look it up in the Resource Management Act 1991). It is my interpretation of this requirement, derived from a document titled, Taking into Account the Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Ideas for the Implementation of Section 8 Resource Management Act 1991. by Dianne Cringle, for the Ministry of the Environment.That Maori never sold land but rather leased it, never relinquishingthe right to determine how it was to be used. I have included the  Wai 903 claim, as a example, which out lines the outcome sought. Control of Land Use. Return of Land, and changes to the Regional Plan to achieve the out comes sought. Include the Ngati Ragi Strategic Plan,(which Horizons Wrote), and one finds a picture which is quite disturbing. Are not the Treaty Settlement negoitations and process supposed to be carried out in good faith?. Here we have Local Government working hand in hand to achieve the outcomes sought. Section 4 of the Conservation Act implemented a Heritage Order effected from sec 187 on wards of the Resource Management Act, and the resource consent process to be used was a Discretionary Activity Status.

I stated too that the Claim identified above also covers Horizons Bio-diversity programme, Kai-Wharite to protect the Blue Duck in the  Ruapehu District.

Having pursued these concerns through the Offical Information Act, and please note it was the process not the settlement its self, I found that the information sought was with held on the basis that it is “likely to generate concern by stakeholders” (I commented on this in a previous post).

There is no better way of achieving the desired out comes sought, than by using regulatory tools to be provided to and implemented via the Sustainable Land Use /Whole Farm Business Plans, and Farm Stratagy’s.

Stream Bank Fencing and land retirement will not improve water quality. I include a very descriptive page of science written by Stephanie Parkyn and Bob Wilcock, titled Impacts of Agricultural Land Use. Please find enclosed. It clearly shows the form of streams in the environments indigenous state. What happens tto streams when agricultural practices were introduced, and what will happen when stream bank fencing or land retirement are introduced.

My concern is that water quality will still be assessed down stream and will not be great through this identified transistion period. What then?

Consider too, report 07-258, Regional Council Agenda 18th December 2007. Titled Hydrology, 2.1. Records of Annual Maxima at Paetawa recorder sight, Whanganui river. The largest floods recorded were very early on in European settlement, being assessed at approximately4300 cu mec’s from old photographs but in fact could have been much larger. And there were plenty of them, gradually declining through to the 1980’s. 1400 cu mecs. This can be attributed to the conversion of land to agricultural land use. Please note that from mid 1980’s onwards flooding intensities have gradually increased. It is my view that the reversion of farmed land to Pine forest is the reason. Thus it is my view that land retirement will only increase the flooding intensities on the river, and I believe the data for the Rangitiki and Manawatu rivers will be similar.

Horizons own report titled Review of Fluvial Science CHC 2008-018 states clearly that it is the fine sediments of the lowland plains causing sedimentation issues with the Manawatu Flood Protection schemes and that it is the tightly constrained nature of the schemes themselves  which are causing the  water quality issues identified.

Therefore I contend that the Sustainable Land Use Initative will add cost to flood protection schemes, indeed one could say, with some degree of confidence, that the schemes are being built for future expected floods as a consequence of present day policy development. Creating increasing water quality problems whilist seeking political out comes which will not be good for either the Regional economy or democracy.

Incidently the big flood on June the 21st co-insided with high tide.

I said it would happen. It happened sooner that I expected but one thing is for sure there is going to be alot more of them.

What now for those settlements/cities effected. Councillor Bob Walker advocated for a managed removal of activity, habitation from those affected areas. What a task. Would it not be better to review current council policy with regard to land use. Trees hold water up on slopes until those soils reach saturation, then look out. Indigenous are even worse in that water flows from those areas are greater than pine and farmed land use. Most Pine in the Whanganui Catchment is now being planted for Carbon. Thus will eventualy revert to indigenous lands. Then the conservation estate and change of the benefits of ownership via the co-governance of the DoC estatate that Maori now enjoy.

What shame the science to prove my assertion has been cleansed  from the public view.