Last week, in remarks to a public meeting on water issues, Chairman Rex McIntyre of the Regional Council asked the gathered citizens to be patient … positive change was a-comin.

He said it took ten years to move from the point of identifying a possible water management issue or problem, to researching the matter and crafting potential solutions, to finally resolving the matter through necessary plan changes, including mandated public consultation at appropriate stages.

One citizen in the audience lamented … “I’m depressed by what I’m hearing.”

I sense that Rex hasn’t yet absorbed the political implications of the reality that most voters in Hawke’s Bay are not farmers like he is. They don’t have the longer view that farmers do. Their life experience is all about rapid change and quick response … and their expectations are shaped accordingly.

Why shouldn’t they expect the political process to work faster, when they see firsthand examples of just how quickly Council initiatives can move when the political will exists …

Just look how fast Mayor Yule’s sports park is sprinting ahead … it was just a glimmer in Sam Kelt’s eye scarcely two years ago.

Look how fast, with Andy Lowe’s “vision” and Mayor Yule’s boosting, a hypothetical charrette progressed to a 1,000 home Lowetown. If things break Andy’s way, he could be breaking ground within two years.

And behold … Il Duce Arnott has but to click her heels and things get done in Napier! That museum will be re-developed in record time.

So, we see that where there’s a political will … there’s a way.

I suggest that Rex give Lawrence or Barbara a call. I’m sure they’d be happy to provide peer counseling on expediting public business.

2018 is too long to wait for resolving Hawke’s Bay water issues. Sure, not every remedial action can be identified and implemented overnight, or gain immediate traction. But sometimes the danger signals are so compelling that you just need to say “Time Out!” and re-set the system.

No business on the planet has ten years to solve its problems. From “moms & pops” to global behemoths, businesses realise that to survive against today’s pace of change and shifting challenges, they must jettison the “Ready, Aim, Fire” mantra and switch to “Aim, Fire, Aim!” There’s no time to learn, then move; today you need to learn on the move.

So call me impatient, but I’d say Regional Councillors don’t have ten years. They have more like thirty months to evidence that they are serious about water … “serious” as in taking the Council off cruise control and stepping on the accelerator.


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  1. My concern is that after 10 years of research, the situation will have changed due to the effects of climate change and peak oil, and surely then we will not want to start another round of 10 years' research!

  2. I was at this meeting, in fact it was me that mumbled and bumbled that i was totally depressed on hearing the regional council member stating that the "earliest" time before anything could be done would be 10 years!! Apparently there r many consent agreements in place and of course others ongoing and this appeared to be the main problem. Surely advance warning could be issued that all consents r to be renewed say in 5 years time so that the councils can begin to take more control of our water in the Bay. Several people stated that water should be "FREE". I hate to say it in the future sometime water will have to be paid for, not necessarily too much but at least enough to stop wastage.

    Something that concerned me more was the fact that one of the speakers whose name I think was Morry Black did say that there is a possibility that a corporation/persons considering selling water from the Hawkes Bay supply. This of course raises many issues, one being 'WHO OWNS THE WATER'???

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