A tale of two treatments

There’s the treatment of a council:

. . .The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s new wastewater plants have failed to meet the conditions of a new resource consent six times since it came into force in October.

The regional council’s chief executive Liz Lambert said it was drawing up an abatement notice, but her council did not think punishing the district council was appropriate.

“We believe that any financial punishment really doesn’t help the ratepayer.

“We’d rather see the money go towards the right outcome.” . . .

Well yes, but would farmers get the same treatment?

The Environment Court’s decision to fine Okoroire sharemilker Bas Nelis has caused disappointment all-round.

On Friday, Nelis’ company Hold the Gold was fined $16,875 under the Resource Management Act for unlawful use of land and disturbing the riverbed.

The Waikato Regional Council, which prosecuted the company, and Judge Melanie Harland, who delivered the sentence, are facing a backlash.

The main point of contention is the infringements happened while Nelis was clearing a gully of noxious plants to replant it with natives – an activity the council actively encourages.

Nelis is well-known for his environmental and riparian planting work and, in 2008, won an Farm Environment Award in the Dairy Industry Awards.

Harland acknowledged this in her decision, but also said Nelis should have known better, given his history of environmental work. . .

This is two different councils with two very different ways of treating infringements.

Letting wastewater enter a waterway is much worse than disturbing a riverbed while clearing noxious plants to replace with natives.

But the district council has been treated leniently in Hawkes Bay and the Waikato farmer has not.


5 Responses to A tale of two treatments

  1. Mr E says:

    Well pointed out Ele.
    Our council (Southland) has these double standards too.
    Some rate payers are over it. They want their council to act fairly. To act with morals and treat everyone the same.


  2. robertguyton says:

    Go to the public meeting in Invercargill on Tuesday night, Mr E, and tell those councillors what you think. “Some ratepayers” would gain more by speaking directly to those they are critical of, rather than mewling on some hardly-read blog.


  3. Mr E says:

    Good advice Robert,
    Accept for the cheap shot. You might see me there. I have meetings that night so I’ll have to manage a double booking.

    Then again I have sat through enough fights over ‘conflicts of interest’ to think I’d be better to moan on some blog.

    We’ll see I guess.

    Mean time can I rely on you to be in my corner?


  4. robertguyton says:

    There are 3 meetings planned; Invercargill, Gore and Tuatapere so there are opportunities galore, compared to what ES has offered in the past. I’ll be in the corner that tells the truth as far as humanly possible. If that’s your corner, we’ll be seated together. Southland’s water quality? Declining. That’s what we heard today, in the chamber.


  5. Mr E says:

    What aspect Robert?
    It wouldn’t be all of them I am sure.
    I wonder if findings were adjusted for flow?


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