Yesterday, John Buck, owner of Te Mata Estate Winery, asked Councillor Rex Graham to share this message with other Regional Councillors …
“The blog Whale Oil, currently the most widely read of New Zealand’s blogs, yesterday carried a colour photograph of human excrement being discharged from the Waipawa effluent ponds in to the Waipawa River. The accompanying text quotes a Steve Thrush who claims that despite making adjustments the plant is still meeting the conditions of its resource consent.
As the owner of a premium Hawke’s Bay consumable brand, exported to over 40 countries, I find such practices, which undermine our years of investment and hard hard work in a place we love to boast about, as compelling evidence for the self-interest of vested community groups, and in this case also two of our Councils
Why are we even contemplating building a dam for the benefit of a few when we are not prepared to fix a sewerage system which undermines any quality message inherent in the regional brand which underlies the prosperity of our total community?
Is this our equivalent of Fonterra’s problems in China? Its human effluent, so please tell your fellow Councillors to delay the dam until they’ve fixed the sewerage and put the ratepayers money into that.
Marlborough claims it can farm Wasabi because it’s water is so pure. What can we claim? When the pictorial evidence and banal, arse-saving responses prove the contrary. Our competitors for the consumer dollars just love this.”
Here’s the photo in question.
At last week’s HBRC Environment Committee meeting, I asked for staff to report on the CHB sewage management situation, given that the CHB District Council (CHBDC) must meet significantly stricter environmental standards later this year (as ordered several years ago by the Environment Court) and have deployed a new ‘floating wetlands’ system — of unproven capacity — to meet these standards.
Two simple questions: Is the system working or not? Is CHBDC on track to meet the tougher standards?
A full report was promised. So far, we’ve been told by HBRC staff only that CHBDC is meeting its current inadequate standards.
I suggest Mayor Peter Butler should quit beating up on Maori, Lawrence Yule, A Better Hawke’s Bay, and amalgamation, and forget about bleating for ratepayers throughout Hawke’s Bay to pay for his CHB dam, and instead get his CHBDC shit together. As John Buck writes, first things first.
P.S. Here’s the statement HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson made at the 29 January Council meeting regarding Butler’s remarks about Maori (you can view this portion of the meeting here, beginning at 1:30 into the meeting … unfortunately the Chairman’s remarks were not reported in the media):
“There’s been a lot of interest in…media interest in comments made by the mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay in recent days. I’d just like to take an opportunity to, you know for the record, state that the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council does not agree with his sentiments and we see a lot of value in our relationship, and our ongoing relationship, with Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and an opportunity to build on recent memorandums, Kaitiaki committees that have been formed to provide an overview for hapu and iwi on the Tukituki catchment in relation to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme should it go ahead and obviously plan change 6. The comments are unfortunate. Obviously if the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme does go ahead there will be many jobs and we hope to see a resurgence of local population. We hope to see opportunities for all people of Hawke’s Bay to get employment and obviously the comments by Mayor Butler do not fit with that premise and obviously are not part of the thinking of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. So I just want to be clear on that as we go forward.”