Hi guys, Just a up date on times and fun and games since my last post. Mate what a horrid place. There are 5 senior councilors from the lowlands and their mates in staff who are just so determined to screw  the world and the rate payer over. Honestly they must all belong to the same club as the rest of these determined people I have come across the last 6 years. People such as thoes who are running the Resource Management Law Association . What a outfit that is. Chocker full of planners ,lawyers, local govt officals and elected members. I also include the likes of Gareth Morgan a couple of Mayors, a few cockys esp thoes that won places in this yrs Ballance Farmer of the Year Awards.

Honestly. They really believe that when NZ can truely say we are 100% clean and green we will profit hugely in the international market place. And who more better to quote than Rangitiki’s elected Mayor Chalky Leary.I note that his district ,Rangitiki is now included in Horizons infamous One Plan Priority Catchment. He enjoyed the limelight at the Ballance Awards. Of course there will only be 2 million people left in NZ ,as the rest would have had to ship out in search of work else where.

I went up to the Chateau Mt Ruapehu a month or so ago, to hear Mr Morgan rubbish the districts dairy cockys.  He ranted on about how they were degrading the environment esp water . How we would all be so much better off if we planted the place back in bush and what a wonderful place it would be to live, work? and play. Great .I could not resist myself. I jumped up at question time and asked the audience how many of them lived in towns. Over half of them put their hands up, where upon I proceeded to explain to them that indeed they were the worst by a country mile and spelt out the cold hard facts. Their sewage and waste water schemes . Well after abit Mr Morgan got real pissed off and told me to sit down and shut up. I had made my point. But up jumped another sceptic who asked , how many people does Mr Morgan think New Zealand can sustain. 2 million was the answer. I see the next week in the media that Mr Morgan announced he was awarding Browne points to Councils who fixed their sewage and waste water plants.

Honestly guys. NZ is in the crap. We need more income fast. And exporting high value products  in any shape or form is imperative, but instead we have the loony brigade wanting to take us back to some novena land that exists in their minds. These people are very well organised. So well organised that it has become political. I have said time and again. It is not about water and soil values. It is about overly restrictive rules and regulations adding cost and destroying wealth. There is nobody who cannot disagree with that. It is political. The out comes these people seek . Well one can only speculate and to do so would only invite ridicule. I will leave that for you to think about.

Horizons has hit the wall financially. People cannot afford the rates being asked. the economic climate is far worse than you and most people realise. People are suffering in silence and on their credit card For example there are 2 motels next to Horizons on Victoria Av Palmerston North.The leasee of the one on the corner did a runner  before Xmas. There on Saturday night. Gone Sunday morn. House empty of all possessions. The people leasing the Hacienda right next door, walked out on Friday. Lost their financial input. Got the eviction order. The occupancy rates have fallen steadily over the last 6yrs, from 70 plus to 40%.  The Steak Out just around the corner used to have 2 waitress’es working mid week, now there is the leasees  mother, and they are not open mid week.  Stu from the Hacienda tells me that all the moteliers are in a similar financial state. And as Stu pointed out their rates and other costs have been steadily increasing year on year.  So much for the tourist market.
Where I live here in Kaitieke we have the cycle trail and it is a access exit point for canoeists using the Whanganui River. I have noticed a lot more cyclists, than last yr, Remember I said the long term business plan predicts   up to 13000 per year, but no where that many yet. We are also getting the odd couple walking past. Poor skinny little beggars to. They remind me of the swaggers that used to roam the road s when I was a kid.  We did not notice so many canoeists again this year. The DoC figures are supposed to show a increase in visitor numbers using the river ,but I and others are sceptical. Indeed there were 2 operators trying to sell late last yr. It would seem that other out door adventure operators have lost business to the cycle way. and those operators in the right location are benefiting from that in terms of accommodation and associated activities. It would seem to me that we are not getting the more affluent tourist, those that are in this category are tightly shepherded to the operators business. Add to that that we ourselves are not getting away for the odd weekends jaunt.  I read in the Herald Tourist numbers are down and the industry is in recession. What annoyed me is that we should be growing the districts economy, not inviting people such as Mr Morgan to advocate for one industry over the over. I note that Visit Ruapehu was responsible for Mr Morgans function. What disturbed me was that the District Council appeared to be actively involved in the organisation and running of the presentation. Mr Till went to great pains to say they were not involved at all. Just helping out?
Well Horizons has got to slash the rates. No argument about it. But unfortunately my view is that councillors White, Rieger, Guy, Mckellar, Chettleburgh and our leader Mr Gordon ,all live in a fantasy world. They must be too well paid, have never had to scrimp and save on the bread line in their lives and quite frankly are either out of touch with reality or they belong to and support the outcomes of the people I described in paragraph 4.
Of course by slashing the rates also means that there will be big variations to the Regional Plan. These guys are just so wedded to that document ,I think they are prepared to do the unthinkable and commit suicide if it was given the heave ho. This is what the big debate is about Who is going to win ?
I have found my self in a real bind. As a consequence of the above, the 2 well published ventures on private land caught up in the cuts , being the Tawata and the Kai Wharite project got the chop. Both are in my patch. Both are very important to Maori . Esp the Tawata project. It has great social outcomes associated with it. Taking the real hardened street kids in, getting them their unite standards so they can seek employment in fields such as pest management and carpentry. I for warned them 2 months ago the cuts were coming and what the process was to get it reinstated, and at the recent council tour in February  we visited Hinenakau Development Trusts workshop  and yard to see first hand the progress these young men have made. They thanked us for coming, put on a really great afternoon,and during the speeches stated they supported their councillor. Me. Well that support has been sorely tested, but through the submission process they are quite likely to have their funding reinstated. The opposition identified above are really making hay out of me over this. I do not believe they give a stuff about the projects ,but are capitalising on my support for the submission process. As i explained to their rep I saw on Monday. This is how the process works. You cannot take anything for granted. I am sure that DoC will pick up the balance of the funding required to carry on with the Kai Wharite project or find another partner to fund the operation. Talking to the contractor doing the trapping , Horizons cut his hrs back last year, (he has had to seek alternative work to supplement his income) then realised that there was unspent funding towards the end of the financial year, thus had 100,s of silly little stickers printed and got the contractor to stick them on each trap. Not for me to speculate.
Well people I am not going to give you a operational report for the 2 months, I have already taken up to much of your time. I will say that there needs to be big positive changes around the table at Horizons these up and coming elections.. And as a consequence of that there will be changes within staffing, whether it be voluntary or other wise, but I will say it is a sick place, Too much emphasis on the environment ,or as I suggest political outcomes ,than there is on the social needs of our people. Just remmber  people are a integral part of the environment and also the most dangerous. So if I am not here after October the 13th , it is because I did not bend enough.