Which body has primary responsibility for protecting our local environment here in the Bay? Arguably the Regional Council. But a variety of forces threaten to disempower that role. Death by the guillotine, or by a thousand cuts? Here’s my assessment — Sunset for Regional Council? — as just published in April’s BayBuzz Digest.

Anybody see it differently?

Tom Belford

P.S. Have you checked out the new BayBuzz website yet?

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1 Comment

  1. The E/Can saga has obviously put the shits up Manawatu Regional Council who've modified their water quality requirements after the sacking.


    And all Regional Councils will have got the message that economic growth is more important than ecology. If they don't favour the energy provider, farmer, or property developer they too can be replaced. Their power through the RMA is being gutted step by step. 'Sunset for Regional Council' is an apt headline.

    Mayor Yule knows the big changes afoot. Auckland SuperCity is the model. Amalgamation of Councils into Unitary Authorities is on the agenda so he's getting a head start to further his political career.

    Perhaps the HBRC proposal to put assets into a 'holding company' is a pre-emptive move to make privatisation difficult. If so, Alan Dick is on to it. If, however, it's a CCO in the Auckland model designed for easy sale, it's another story. Hard to tell who's serving the community and who's serving themselves.


    What disturbs me most is this Government's assumption that public assets, be they a Port, Prison, School or Conversation Estate can be fashioned into a product and sold. Isn't this all a another scam like the sale of the BNZ and Trustee Savings Banks, NZ Rail et all of the 80's and 90's? (and the All Blacks). We were robbed then and it could happen again.

    On April 28 Rodney Hide is guest speaker at the 13th Local Government Asset Management Conference. The discussion topic after his speech reads: "Privatisation is a contentious issue due to amendments in the Local Government Act 2002. Water will be the first area of local government which will move towards privatisation but what about the rest of local government controlled functions? What will the impacts be on asset management if more functions become commercialised in the future?" 

    Water is up for privatisation. Who too. Chinese? French? American? Maybe Fay & Richwhite.


    Radical changes are in process. Consultation is reduced to a sham as with Auckland, or eliminated like E/Can. All with a smile and a wave.

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