Media who were there, as I was,  know that last Wednesday’s meeting of the Regional Council was one of the most disturbing ever — in terms of raising questions about the council’s/counsellors’ basic competence, the integrity of their process, and fundamental political judgment.

It was also the first HBRC meeting that was to be recorded for online webcasting.

But supposedly, the system failed!!

HBRC claims the video feed never made it to the vendor in Christchurch!

I for one do not accept this at face value.

If the media of Hawke’s Bay have any balls at all, we should collectively demand an inquiry into what happened. Cameras were there and recording. Even if the feed didn’t go through, there should be recorded material somewhere.

And if recordings were destroyed or lost in transmission, at a minimum, here again is colossal incompetence. How many successful test runs do you think HBRC would have made before proudly announcing to us all that Wednesday’s session was the first to go online?! And then the system magically failed at the moment of truth?!

If they were purposefully destroyed, then there should be hell to pay!

Collectively, Hawke’s Bay media, on behalf of the public interest we serve, should demand an investigation of this ‘failure’ — one that reaches from the executive suite of HBRC to the technical grunts in Christchurch.

I look forward to hearing from my media colleagues on this matter.

Tom Belford

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  1. Transparency alone is sufficient reason for amalgamation. It’s time this charade stopped. If our elected representatives believe they are doing the right thing then they should have nothing to hide.
    C’mon councillors step up and show us what you are made of.

  2. Kiaora Tom.

    Council talks streamed online – Corey Charlton

    The opening paragraph reads, “Footage of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council meetings will be recorded and available online later this year but will not be streamed live, raising concerns about the possibility of censoring”.

    Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the recording has not been made available for ALL of Aotearoa to view…So they can edit, oops! censor it.

    Something truly rotten in the stagnating water of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

    I shall post this article into my Twitter page and I’m certain the HBRC are on Twitter.

    Local Government NZ follows me.

    Hei kona ra kia koe Tom

  3. Hi Tom, Following Wednesday’s HBRC meeting I bet you a beer that there would be a ‘malfunction’ in the webcast system… so, you owe me a beer!

    The debacle at that meeting over HBRIC’s proposal for increased directors’ fees; the fact that no-one seems clear on the status of this investment company; the fact that the Chief Financial Officer’s signature was electronically applied to a paper he had not seen, much less approved; that same paper referring to the company “actively considering making Offer to the Public and issuing a Prospectus” , thereby exposing directors, including councillor directors, to risks of hefty fines and jail terms”, as justification for fee increases, demonstrates loudly and clearly that this is an organisation out of control.

    There is now a greater than ever imperative for the public of Hawke’s Bay to insist on halting consent applications for the dam scheme until a full review can be undertaken. My guess is that the Auditor General is likely to have the same view.

    Over- riding all of the above is the sheer dishonesty of not releasing the footage of this meeting. It stretches credibility beyond belief that there was, indeed, a ‘malfunction’

  4. Something stinks. Most kids can operate a video camera. Who was the “vendor” and what was responsible for the “failure”?

    I agree, Tom, that at this stage a full enquiry is warranted.

  5. Technical glitch: what a load of bollocks – HBRC were so embarrased by the behavour of their HBRIC chairman and the discovery that he used a document for a pecuniary advantage that they canned this broadcast. There should be a police investigation into how the 600% directors fee increase proposal was able to presented to council with a forged signature.

  6. This council continues to show its incompetence and continues to ask the public to trust them. When is enough enough. Who calls these people to accountability? There should be a police investigation. That is breaking the law and any normal citizen would be called on that let alone people in a public trusted position. What else are they doing/planning that we don’t know about. That footage is definitely somewhere and if it has been destroyed who gets held accountable for that. They need to be ousted. The energy of Transparency HB around the table felt so much better!

  7. I went to the Hawks basketball game last night. This is also available to view online and live. Interesting to note that the camera operators were local teenagers. Perhaps they could pop along and sort for HBRC. Don’t think we need anyone from CHCH at all…

  8. Pressure does strange things to people and makes them behave in ways that are irrational. Standing behind technical malfunction as the reason for withholding this meeting footage is outrageous, those responsible must be outed.

    This is another example of a system and structure that is broken. A Better Hawke’s Bay and other proponents of council amalgamation will use this to their advantage…together with the standing down of Barbara Arnott they have been gifted a royal opportunity to sway the public and hallelujah to that

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