This morning, I and others received this message from local resident Roy Boonen …

At 7:00am this morning 18/1/14 I was paddling a waka ama up the Tutaekuri river and witnessed 6 cows standing up to their knees in the river. The land that they came from is  part of the stock bank reserve managed by the HBRC. This was only 5kms from the HBRC building in Napier. As I mentioned in my presentation yesterday, if the HBRC cannot even manage to keep it’s own cows out of the rivers within it’s own ‘backyard’, then what confidence can we have in their ability to manage the safety of HB rivers when they are planning to dramatically increase the number of cows in the Hawkes Bay.

On Friday, Roy presented to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki dam and water management plan.

His key point to the commissioners, as he summarizes above, was that the HB Regional Council can’t be trusted to protect environmental values when it comes to water management.

All I can say to Roy is two things …

1. Take photos!

2. Be assured that we have four new regional councillors, at least, who regard this as unacceptable performance on the part of HBRC. Councillor Christine Scott sees herself as the doyenne of HB water policy … maybe she’ll provide the fifth and deciding vote to deal with this issue once and for all.

Tom Belford

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1 Comment

  1. No need for four new knights in shining armour to ride into town and make a headline grab for themselves. Take a look at staff report and actions already noted during Regional Council meeting (Item 16) from 28 August last year. (Agenda here: Minutes here: ), and then there is recorded webcast of meeting for the really dedicated…

    Before launching into finger-pointing and bloc-voting, take a breath and understand the problem. Do we know why these cattle were able to access the river – a result of fencing vandalism, fencing design failure, fencing is work in progress, lessee farmer’s neglect, or something else?

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