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Who Are The Hillbillies?

Sludgegate, Day 18 4:30pm, Thursday, 14 December 2000

The court discovered today that a young graduate engineer was left to select Waiheke's emergency sludge disposal site almost completely on his own.

David Nelson, that young graduate, was at home enjoying his Xmas break when he received a phone call, from Greg Paterson at Utility Planning, imploring him to do in one week what Mike McQuillan's Utility Planning Department had been unable to do in six months. Without any written brief or managerial support he was sent unsupervised to locate and call down a 'sludge strike' on any part of the island.

He found the golf course site.

But in truth he was not left entirely unsupervised. He did enjoy the close assistance of council officers Sean Deery and John Mountain - who have both given evidence that they played no part in site selection - who were kind enough to pick him up from the ferry, chauffer him around the island, and help him dig bore holes up against Adrian Chisholm's fence.

Curiously, both Mountain and Deery knew of Chisholm's plans to build a tourist resort over that fence. We know this because they had earlier issued him with a notice forbidding him to mow his paddocks because it might 'disturb the mating of the king ferns.'

Paterson spoke this morning of the "hillbillies" on Waiheke who "oppose sewage works." Perhaps that term might more truthfully be applied to the organisation for which he works.

The case continues tomorrow, with some aftermath expected from the so-called 'privileged document' being tabled in parliament earlier today by Owen Jennings MP.

ENDS

For further information please contact: Peter Cresswell (09) 631 0034 organon@ihug.co.nz


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