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Politicians and PC 1

Politicians and PC 1

Politicians are people who create problems and then deny responsibility. A classic example is the Waikato Regional Council’s (WRC) Proposed Plan Change 1 (PC 1).

PC 1 was proposed by the WRC as part of their review of their regional plan as they are required to do by law. The plan change to use their own words is described as follows: “Plan Change 1 is the Waikato Regional Council’s bold response to addressing the complex problem of water quality facing our Waipa and Waikato Rivers”.

PC 1 uses an 80-year timeframe to achieve the water quality objectives of the Vision and Strategy. The timeframe is intergenerational and more aspirational than the national bottom lines set out in the NPS FM.

Based on the information that was currently available, the CSG (Collaborative Stakeholders Group) concluded full achievement of the Vision and Strategy by 2096 is likely to be costly and difficult. The 80-year timeframe recognises the ‘innovation gap’ that means full achievement of water quality requires technologies or practices that are not yet available or economically feasible.

The WRC are responsible for this plan change being accepted in its current format and put out for consultation.

In actual fact the decision to accept the document and put it out for consultation was approved by the WRC based on the casting vote of the then Chairman even though the Chairman had previously stated that this (use of the casting vote) would not happen.

The WRC are directly responsible for PC 1 even though they have spent much time and energy trying to convince us that what they did is not their fault that the plan change is actually the CSG’s not the WRC’s. The WRC continues to make this statement regularly regardless of the fact that they are legally responsible and the fact that they are the only ones that could accept the plan change as it is written.

The fact is that the WRC owns the plan change no matter who wrote it or who had input into it.

The WRC as the only body that had the legal right to do so passed the motion to adopt PC 1 and put it out for public consultation.

The consultation process has resulted in over 1200 submissions on the proposed plan change with most of them being opposed to some part of the plan change and in fact the WRC the has made a submission requesting changes to PC 1.

It seems inconceivable to me that a Regional Council that has spent approximately $20 million developing a plan cannot get it right before they put it out for public consultation, and they need to submit against their own plan.

This in my opinion suggests incompetence and irresponsibility on the part of the WRC councillors in rushing this through the approval process to the stage where it requires a casting vote by the Chairman to pass it.

This current situation with PC 1 is traceable directly to the WRC decision to accept the plan change document and therefore it must follow that the exercise of that power by the WRC, means that what exists is what they want to exist.

Do not let the WRC shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish, whose advice they can reject and above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists some disembodied mystical force that prevented them from taking the time to ensure the proposed plan change was fit for purpose before putting it out for public consultation.

The WRC and they alone, are responsible. They and they alone had the power.

They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses (The Ratepayers). Provided the ratepayers have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote them out of office and clean up their mess!

A. J. Loader

Co-Chairman P.L.U.G.

Primary land Users Group.

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