Submission to HBRC on RWSS

One of the first lessons I was taught when I was given authority to lend money by the BNZ was to imagine it was my own money that was being lent. This truth is a pertinant today as it was then in any situation where lending or investing money on behalf of a third party is going to be considered.

How many of you are going to mortgage you house to invest in this scheme? If you are not prepared to take this risk with your own money why should you be risking our money? I suppose these questions are rhetorical but I think they should be answered honestly because the answers to questions about cold hard cash tend to take the emotions out of the decision making process.

The challenge that the HBRC has in making a decision to invest in RWSS revolves around the conflict of being both investor & regulator simultaneously. This has been the monkey in the room since day one and has yet to be satisfactorily resolved.

The conscenting conditions of the dam may be managed by another authority – I understand this will be Waikato Regional Council – but the consenting conditions for the dam’s customers will have to be managed by HBRC.

Nothing that HBRC has done around RWSS has given me any confidence that you will be genuinely able to manage the effects of Plan Change 6. Your belief that the BOI did not have the skills and time to consider the evidence put before it flys in the face of the logic used to call in Plan Change 6 in the first place.

Therefore I can not agree to HBRC investing $80,000,000 in HBRIC, as I have no confidence that the money will be repaid without Plan Change 6 consents being breached.

The funny thing about this whole situation is that farmers in the Manawatu catchment believe they can operate under resource consent conditions that meet the 0.8 DIN limits, but only if they farm progressively and not intensively. The hysterics demonstrated by staff of both HBRC & HBRIC over the BOI draft decision prove to me that there is very little critical thinking going on around this project. Personally I look forward to a future when our farms are environmentally, socially & economically sustainable.

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