Hi people, this week has seen the grass growth pick up noticably, the twin scanned ewes are right into lambing, 10 days early, and the survival rate looks to be good. The weather has been warm but grotty, and there is good covers on the twinning paddocks ,well nearly all of the paddocks.

I noticed a month ago when the weather warmed up  that the cows stopped eating so much. This was a relief as I could have done with 4o more bales of silage/hay. Preffer hay as you get the same amount of dry matter but the bales are lighter and therefore easier to cart up to the flats we have on top.

Am hoping for a better yr financially this yr , the $ looks over cooked and has done for a long while, I would not be surprised if there was a big correction in the offing.

This last week has not been so busy council wise, I was in Taumarunui for the District Council Meeting. I go once a month giving them a update on Council matters.

When I was Ist elected and started giving my monthly reports Mayor Sue lined me up and gave me the Message. Now Mike we want to hear it as it is. So that is what I have done including taking Council to task when I deem it necessary. It did not take long for somebody sympathetic to Horizons either a councillor or staff to give Horizons a ring , and before you could say Jack Robinson Mr Murfitt and the CEO were up here giving a monthly report with me.

Well I soon got sick of that and just carried on saying it as I saw it. I am not saying I did not give a report on important matters raised in each of the Council meetings I attended, and included this week when I reported on the Important points of this yrs Rate Demand, where the dosh is being spent, and also a update on looming Issues to expect with ever increasing Rate demands, eg more and more people are falling into arrears. The Rate take is slower to come in, the penalty wavier is being extended more offen. There was the Environment Committee Meeting , the Blue duck Project on the Retaruke/Manganui o Te Ao  Rivers won a award at the Prestigous I Pod Awards in Wellington recently.It was for co-opereation between organisations, Horizons and DoC.

A big shame about this project is that the big slip in the Erua Conservation estate has started slipping again sending millions of tonnes of very grey sediment down the Retaruke river and destroying the food source for these birds. Reports now coming in are that the Blue Ducks have started moving on most likely up side streams . This slip has been going off and on for most of this yr. I bought it to councils notice in Febuary when I took a bottle of it down and placed it on the Council table for all to see. The reaction was one of indifference. I have bought it up twice since, and have managed to get a commitment from Mr Murfitt that the New Council will visit the site late this yr. My Neighbour Elaine has been on the case getting the media down and we got our photos taken by river. She has succeeded in getting  the local Horizons engineer, Alan Kirk to take a interest, with a meeting organised  at the slip sight  this coming week.

The rate payers have been spending $200,000 per ann on this project and it does not look good for future funding. The big shame is that a rare fish the Long Jawed Kopu Kopu used to inhabit this river, whilist I have never seen it and nor has any body else I know, appprently only coming out at night, recent surveys using electro fishing technology has failed to find it , being last identified in 1977.. The Erua slip last went in the mid 1980,s when it ran solid for 18mths. Interesting thing is that the Water sample is very high in essential nutrients suitable for Agriculture. May be somebody should do the enviroment a favour and mine it.

Back to the Council Meeting. I mentioned the Unitry Authority project I and others have been promoting . We got off to a slow start hoping to get help from federated farmers local govt man to make sure that we got it right, BUT only to get mucked around, like months,  consequently we got late , too late. It quickly became apparent that people new nothing about Unitry A,s and the benefits we could gain as rate Payers, not only financially but in terms of Local Democratic decision making free from Regional Council influence. The Partition is still out there but the moment is lost. Unitry Authoritys are coming but now we will lose our individual independence, and I fear we will get a model that many of us will not be comfortable with. The thing that concerns me is the lack of information given to District Councillors . I t was almost as if  the decision was made not to promote it credibly around the Council Table.

Far to much nonsence going on and I fear there is a degree of resentment from certain employees and District Council representatives who would rather that,  or are uncomfortable with the Knowledge that I have. Some most certainly would rather have the past Regional Council Rep back.

This is very true for the Draft District Council Plan . What a dog of a document. The Policy Statement clearly spells out the Intent for the District  for the next 10 yrs.  That is Cultural Concerns for the Environment. The Plan seeks  to have regard to Maoridoms aspirations to control water. And it is bloody obvious where that is going to lead us. Just have to look at the Scenic Landscapes Maps and relate that to the chapter on Protected Areas Zones. Under the heading” The Crown ” there is a refference to section 4 of the RMA and woo up , follow the sections identified. There needs to be some common sence to the fore here and bloody fast. This is really dangerous stuff that will tear communities and familys apart. Destroy our Districts economy and see another wave of social dislocation to citys causing even more pressure on social services and infrastructure, and bring about more funding cuts to our own Health and Education facilities. Most of these people will be ill equiped to handle the city enviroment. Agriculture pumps $4 million every week into the Districts economy. A couple or 3 cycle rides are not going to replace that. Sure there are a couple of short term building projects in the offing and one that will create some employment being the fast food industry, the simple facts are if there is no work for people they move on.