Hello again readers.

What a busy week this week. On Tuesday I attended the Council Strategy and Policy meeting in Palmerston North. Items of interest on the agenda included the RMA reforms. I note that somebody is up to their usual tricks. At last months Regional Council it was moved by  myself that Council make a submission to the reforms requesting that Trout be removed from the RMA sec 7 . It had been in the early draft, but blow me down somebody dropped the ball. It was supposed to be discussed on Tuesday, but it seems to have dissappeared. This happens all the time.

I cannot understand how we can protect a fish that quite literally is scoffing its way 24/7 through our aquatic bio-diversity. What is worse we are protecting this fish where we are supposed to be protecting significant sights of aquatic bio-biversity. And yes you guessed it, it is the cocky who is being regulated or to be regulated to ensure that our aquatic bio-diversity is protected.

It seems there have been 13,000 submissions received and can be viewed on the MfE web site, publications/rma/resource-management-summary-reform-proposals.pdf. On the face of it there seems to be more Regional District Plan integration. What is new? Invite Iwi/Hapu to agree to “an arrangement” for working together through the planning process. Amendments to sec 6 and 7, changes to consenting, notification and the appeal process, and finally performance expectations for monitoring amongst other, proactive planning for job creation. Well any body can plan for, but actually creating the environment is another especially so if Councils continue to refer to the Wellbeings, as written; Environment, Social, Cultural and finally Economic. Planners consider the Environment first every time.

There was an update on the Proposed One Plan. Horizons has two programmes on the go at the moment, being, the Resolution of appeals currently in the High Court, and community engagement as part of the implementation programme. As reported previously, there has been a huge back down by Horizons with regard to the Land Use Classifications and table 13.2. Nitrogen Leaching Allowances. It is my opinion that Staff and  hard core “green” Councillors are keeping the door open, with annual reviews.

I missed the Environment Committee report on this subject, Wednesday, but it would seem that if all farms in the region were captured tommorrow, it would suck $42 million out of the economy in resource consent fees, 6000 farms at $7000 each. And line the pockets of consultants who are to do the work, not to mention the extra staff in Horizons to manage the process. Also Horizons spent $350,000 to prove that only one farm can meet the year 2020 N leaching targets should they be enforced.

Going to be an interesting meeting next Regional Council.

Horizons are now ready to engage with Hort NZ. These guys are kicking up a din and quite rightly so. It is just a pity that they did not take the early Enviro-Court and High Court Appeals seriously. They were nowhere to be seen. To my mind the organisation got caught badly with their pants down snuggling up to Horizons, like most submitters, only to find that the goal posts shifted. I told the local Hort delegate so as well.

Of interest to me is that Councillors have not approved any of the Plans making up the One Plan. Under Schedule 1 RMA. This has to happen before the Plan(s) become operational. I find this over sight interesting. Do Staff and the hard core Councillors think they do not have the numbers. I doubt it, so it must be an external problem. Are these people waiting, hoping for a sympathetic Government next election? We will just have to wait and see. Any way Staff claim that schedule 1 is not relevent, that the Enviro-Court has made that decision and approved the Plans?

I note that the Minister for the Environment, Amy Adams, stated in a recent farming mag I read, that she is fed up with Regional Councils making up their own rules. So lets watch this space.

Item 8 of the Strategy and Policy Agenda was about Epithermal Gold and Mineral Mining. In our region this includes Ongarue and Waimiha. There is also an application for Iron Sand mining at sea off the West Coast of our region.

At home in Ruapehu this last week I had two speaking engagements. On Wednesday night I was the guest speaker at the Taumarunui Young Farmers Club. I spoke about my role, the out comes I sought, and achieved, and also encouraged them to take an interest in the planning process’s of Local Government. They were very interested in the Kaitieke Young farmers Club way back in 1980, the activities they took part in and how they ran their meetings. I can assure you they were a lot different to today.

See you next week.