Ice plungeYesterday, the Regional Council came dangerously close to action on the Tukituki. Chairman Alan Dick did his best at Wednesday’s Council meeting to get his Councillors to dip their toes at last into the water and actually beginning to clean up the river.

But once again, the water was just too cold for comfort, and the Council froze.

The Council received from staff a comprehensive review of research still needed, policies that might require updating, and water management and operational interventions that would be beneficial to the Tukituki.

But when the Chairman attempted to distill a handful of action items into a resolution for Council endorsement, Councillors rebelled.

Leading the opposition to endorsing action was Councillor Christine “Water’s for the Taking” Scott, abetted by Councillor Eileen von Dadelszen — two Councillors who can out-bureaucrat even the most seasoned bureaucrat. Together, these two are so good at obfuscation that they could neuter the Ten Commandments. They succeeded in postponing Council action for another month.

With the departure of Murray Buchanan as Environmental Management Group Manager, the HBRC is in a position to realign and re-energise its water team. But then why bother, when Councillors are loathe to get their feet wet and begin to make tough decisions regarding water quality and management?!

Too many Councillors still believe that farmers (i.e. land users whose activities can potentially deplete and foul our waters) are a uniquely benevolent species who — unlike doctors, bankers, pub owners, builders, tobacco merchants, etc, etc — can be gotten onside, in terms of protecting the public interest, simply through more “education,” versus sensible regulation and firm enforcement.

On revamping management of the Bay’s precious water resources, Chairman Alan Dick seems ready to take the plunge. But most of his fellow Councillors will need to be pushed off the dock.

Tom Belford

Join the Conversation


  1. With next year's Local Government elections in mind it's great to track those HBRC councillors who take their job as custodians of our water, air & land sincerely & those who serve other interests (egos and ideology)

    Unfortunately the elements which sustain life on Earth don't have a seat on Council. Their welfare is supposed to be represented by Councillors, but it appears that in the spin of political jousting and bureaucratic manoeuvring many on HBRC don't honour their core responsibility of protecting & sustaining our water, air & land!

    Von Dadelszen & Scott are definately in deficit and others too seem uncommitted and ineffectual. We need Councillors who have woken up to 21st century realities: HB is going to get less rainfall. We will be warmer. Many crops will no longer be viable. Others will take their place. Agriculture that relies on vast amounts of water is unsustainable.. Nitrate run off is killing river ecosystems. We continue to poison the soil (and water) with noxious chemicals. Wake up! Our rivers & aquivers are under dire threat of irreversible destruction.

    Those Councillors who serve the elements and not themselves should speak out. Make a fuss. Point the finger. Don't be polite. And don't worry – the Wind, and the Water, and the Earth will be on your side!

    P.S I think the leaking roof is a message for Eileen & Christine.

  2. You make some very good points Mark, the reality is that the current crop of Regional Councillors are only interested in looking after their own interests than those of the wider community. I've seen dead sheep move with greater speed and motivation.

    Saddly it is the people of Hawkes Bay who need a rocket, they are after all are the ones who elect these half wits. The election of Von D and Scott constantly remind me of the stupidity of the average voter.

    Saddly the electoral errors of the minority are going to be at the cost of majority….

  3. Hi

    I am a trout fisherman of the Bay for forty years,I have been very concerned at the state of our local rivres for many years.

    I have been speaking my mind to the HBRC, when ever I get a chance at meetings, and through letters to the editor in the local paper.

    Horizons Regional Council have done a study into beach raking and have found that it does not work, they are not doing it ,so why are we still wasting money doing it.

    Horizons One Plan will significantly reduce the amount of water taken from Tararua rivers. They seem to be taking action and getting it right.

    I say wake up HBRC you have got it wrong, the water needs to be in the rivers where it belongs.

    And the Tuki is not the only river under threat, all our rivers are,

    We have cattle in all of our rivers, not matter where I fish you will find cattle foaming the rivers.

    Time for ACTION.

    Bruce Strachan

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.