Mark your calendars … this Thursday the 14th is when Councillors from both the Hastings and Regional Councils must front up for the Bay’s environment.

In Hastings, Councillors will meet at 2p.m. in open session to sort out their position on Ocean Beach. As they begin, Friends of Ocean Beach will present the unprecedented thousands of petition signatures of individuals saying NO! to 1000 houses at Ocean Beach.

It’s time for Hastings Councillors, as our elected representatives, to take ownership of this issue. Our elected Councillors must call the shots here, not staffs and consultants with unknown agendas and stunted vision. There is a solid legal case for simply rejecting Hill Country’s proposed plan change outright. If the Council’s staff and consultants cannot, or will not, craft that case, others are standing by to do it for them.

The Ocean Beach decision is about which values will determine the future of this irreplaceable natural treasure. As such, it is a political decision … a decision for elected representatives, not one to abdicate to bureaucrats.

Thousands of people have signed the Friends of Ocean Beach petition, underscoring the value they place on keeping Ocean Beach unspoiled. On Thursday, Hastings Councillors must stand up with us … or against us.

At the Regional Council, the same Thursday at 9a.m. in open session, we’ll witness an environmental double-feature.

First, Regional Councillors will face the same Ocean Beach issue … Should the HBRC take a position in the formal RMA submission process and, if so, what should be the nature of that submission?

The HBRC position can be equally short and sweet … Councillors can simply reject the proposed plan change outright, and instruct staff to prepare the appropriate submission.

The second event at HBRC is the presentation of the staff report on water quality in the Tukituki. Surprise of surprises, the staff submits that the water is just fine, thank you, and will only get better if we patiently await new treatment facilities in 2014.

The staff report has just been released today. More in-depth analysis to come on this.

What can you do?

1) Get your Ocean Beach petitions in by WED the 13th. Get them to Linda Ryan at 59 Kopanga Road in Havelock, or call her at 877-6651 to arrange a pick-up. If you haven’t yet signed yourself, do so online here. We’ll update our petition count when the HDC meets again on the 21st, but the more we have to report this Thursday, the better.

2) Send this message to Chairman Rex McIntyre, urging more forceful attention to water quality issues.

3) Try to get your body to one or both of these critical meetings. The Councils do nothing to make meeting times convenient to citizens. So it’s a lot to ask of you to attend. But the stakes are high. If you can make it, your presence will make a difference … and you’ll witness great political theatre!

Tom

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4 Comments

  1. It has come to my attention while browsing this website that your goal is to undermine the many services which your region provides you so generously. Somewhere in the world there are poor human beings whose representatives do not have the power to put $275 million into their region, they hardly have a dollar. Your site reeks of pesimistic and immature motives. I understand that your Mayor is a man of utmost integrity with a keen sense of humour who wants nothing more than to represent with dignity, the city and the people he feels most passionately about. You continually seem to knock the members of your community who also want to provide you with opportunity. Sam Kelt has done more for that region than is possible to summise in one email. His sponsorships have aided events which have injected millions into the Hawkes Bay economy. Many other individulas who you seem to be determined to undermine (such as Andy Lowe) are some of the greatest assets to your region. I am astonished at your selfish and ungrateful nature. If only other parts of New Zealand had a region of leaders such as the Hawkes Bay seems to offer, our country would be a mush better place. Rather than creating an effective website which invites constructive debate, you fill your pages with sarcastic and unwitty humour that does not disguise the whinging that is your attempt to pursue your selfish interests.

  2. Lizanne,

    We seem to agree on only one thing … Lawrence Yule, who has publicly complimented BayBuzz, does indeed have a keen sense of humour.

    You are welcome to the rest of your opinions about BayBuzz and its motives.

    For my part, I take great satisfaction in the strong positive response BayBuzz has received from all segments of the Bay community — from concerned students to families with roots in and commitments to the Bay that easily match anyone's. And most recently, from thousands of citizens who share our belief that Ocean Beach must be protected.

    Best wishes,

    Tom

  3. I would like to hit a few heads because I am appalled at the way in which taxpayer's money is being spent. I don't agree with the building of 1000 homes at Ocean Beach. If a Tsunami hit NZ how would the Council feel about all those homes and people got washed out to sea – those people would not be on my conscience because I didn't help them get there. The Council ought to be thinking about what they can spend hard earned dollars on saving the planet. Bandaiding is not an option.

  4. The Council or any Council for that matter should spend taxpayer's money on finding and implementing solutions to making the planet a better place for our grandchildren or generations to come to live on instead of focusing on ways in which get more taxpayer's money. Wake up!

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