HB Today reported over the weekend that the HB Regional Council has decided to keep secret the 161 submissions that have been made as part of its Tukituki Choices ‘consultation’ until after its October 31st meeting to decide how to proceed with Tukituki matters, including the $600 million CHB dam.
According to HBT, apparently quoting a Regional Council source, the submissions will be kept secret until after Councillors have made their decision … “Out of respect for the people who have commented” and to allow Councillors to give “genuine consideration” to comments without any “external pressure”!!
God forbid that elected Councillors might be pressured by constituents … otherwise known as democracy. No doubt our Councillors have spent the Labour weekend holed up in their bunkers poring over the submissions, untainted by better informed but clamoring citizens.
As between arrogant, petrified or just dumb, I’ll go for … petrified.
Let’s call a spade a spade. There’s ONE reason elected officials keep things secret … FEAR.
Mostly fear of embarrassment. Fear of being seen NOT asking the tough questions. Fear of being seen not even knowing what the tough questions are! Fear of discovering that their $8 million ‘feasibility study’ in fact might not hold water.
It’s abundantly clear … the decisions that must be made about managing the Tukituki catchment are simply ‘beyond the pay grade’ of this cast of Councillors.
Maybe that’s why they are in such a rush to pass the buck to a Board of Inquiry and a bunch of bank advisers from Australia.
I’ve read (and will publish*) some of the most challenging submissions that have been made on Tukituki Choices. They raise such fundamental questions as to challenge the credibility of the entire undertaking HBRC has made to sell its plan.
If the HBRC were to publish these submissions tomorrow morning — Tuesday — and everyone in Hawke’s Bay could realise their implications, see how different aspects of the scheme have been challenged by different knowledgeable submitters, see all the unanswered questions, I suspect quite a hue and cry would arise from the public.
Maybe even from the hitherto silent ‘city fathers’ who are themselves standing around like deer stuck in the headlights instead of scrutinizing a monumental $600 million regional investment. If even a few of the squad of ‘experienced corporate directors’ who populate this region took a serious look at the feasibility study and considered the questions submitters have raised, this process would pause.
All of the Tukituki submissions should be posted on the HBRC website … now! And the questions they raise should be answered before the HBRC makes further decisions of any kind on whether to proceed.
Perhaps all the questions can be answered satisfactorily in due course. But these submissions, when added up, are beginning to suggest otherwise. The HBRC claimed on its website that it wanted “informed submissions” on the Tukituki issues. Well they got more informed submissions than they bargained for … and now they’re stuck with them. Best to keep them secret!
Turns out the submitters are better informed than the Councillors.
*If you have a Tukituki submission that you’d like published, just forward to me (Tom@baybuzz.co.nz) and we’ll put it on the BayBuzz website.