Hi Readers. This last week saw me at the Regional Council meeting on Tuesday. Straight up we had  a moments silence, followed by euologies for David Meads ex Councillor who died suddenly on Monday. This was followed by speaking rights from non other than a delegation from Taumarunui.  Nice to be kept informed. Local accountant Jeremy Stubbs and the owner of  Honda First, Paul Rushbrooke  were on hand to express the views of the commercial operators in Taumarunui. Great presentation. Things are bad. Catchment Chair Guy immediately seemed to suggest that they had been suffering from poor representation. I of course suggested that he was out of order and requested an apology. His best mate, the chair, Mr Gordon refused to address the question, where upon Mr Guy changed tack to say “staff”. He then went on to say that they had nothing to worry about from the One Plan implementation,that he and Horizons staff would look after them. The words misinformed were mentioned. Mr Stubbs added that concerns were being expressed from a number of informed people from up our way, and he hoped that the issues could be over come and we could all move forward in a positive way. Mr Guy assured him we would. Well this was all too much for Councillor Sheldon who immediately asked the chair and Mr Mc Cartney, “there hasn’t been a plan change has there? whats Mr Guy talking about?” Councillor Burnell stated clearly to the two gentlemen. “You have every right to be concerned”. You could have heard a pin drop. Took a moment for the chair to gather himself, before he immediately moved on and McCartney invited, ushered Mr Stubbs and Mr Rushbrooke out of the chamber saying, “our staff are here and available to you right now to assure you all will be okey”.

Have to say that to my mind there was a  well rehursed play going on here, and I have to ask if the two gentlemen requested speaking rights, or were invited. But definitely I was the target. Over lunch Cr Burnell expressed that view.

Regional Council meeting 26th June, the State of the Environment report was discussed. In it, it included Manuka vegetation as being  included  in Schedule E of the Bio-diversity provisions of the One Plan. I objected to this, quoting the Independent Chair of the Hearings Panel as stating clearly in the opening preamble of the decision, that Manuka was not included in Schedule E.

Well blow me down there it is on page 46 ,Cr Plowman is right and Manuka vegetation is not included. A win for me.

At  the end of the day a discussion occurred regarding the RMA reforms, and that Trout are out, then in,  and now in but differently. I moved the motion that Horizons Councillors make a submission recommending that they are out again. Strategy and Policy are to sort this next month. Here’s hoping .

Well the local paper is on the ball and getting all the candidates to write little columns, I got 25o words which the reporter knocked back to a 100 or so, and in media speak so to speak. Every body else got the personal speak in the form they submitted it. Mine also contains an inaccuracy, so I guess I am again to be made to look silly. Oh well. Might pull it. Then again what the hell. Whats new. Have to take part in a question and answer session in the media for the next 4 weeks. It is going to be interesting.

This week I was flat out picking up my boards.  Nine in all. Am putting out a handful of my old ones, here and there. The flyers arrived this week as well, 5000 of them so I had to organise the Rural Delivery men to deliver, count out the numbers of flyers for each, add the cheque, address each for the RD runs so there is no muck ups. A big job. Had to contact the people of whom I put up my boards on their property. Had no problems, and it was with anticipation that I rang the people in Ohakune/Raetihi, as that is opposition territory. But to my surprise, only to welcome.  Up here I had a new property owner ring up and say for gods sake get out here and put up a board before somebody else does. Got them up on Saturday.

Am planning two meetings. last time (3 years ago) I organised 6 and only had a few people turn up at 2 ,and non at the rest.

My opposition seems to think that all that it will take to get some common sense into the implementation process is to talk to the Councillors. If only. What it will take is for a large change of Councillors. Already 2 of the hard core team are in with no competition. I found that somewhat strange, as both are in Horticulture territory, and the way our local Horticulture candidate has been going on to me, all growers are out of bussiness, and us Councillors are no good.

On the election front, I offer experience. It takes a term to find your way, and then you are in bussiness. I have found that with only one other supportive Councillor it has been hard going around the table. I have done all the research, the sec 32’s and the political stuff. I have performed best out side of Council. It is the networking , the court case’s, the recording of unethical nonsense with regard to the Council advisory group and submitting to the District Council Plan, that I have been at my best. Exposing the nonsense that is going on.

You cannot beat an experienced Councillor, asking the hard questions, exposing the nonsense and refusing to bend, taking advantage of every opportunity that arises to network the appropriate people. For gods sake in the first term I just could not bowl up to, for example,  Peter Sharples and say hello, and ask, what do you know about the nutrient budgeting tool Overseer, but I have been able to do just that in this second term.

Oh well, time to sign off this week.