Submission to CHBDC on wasting $5m 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 your ratepayers 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 CHBDC has in making a decision to invest in RWSS revolves around ability. If two institutional investors have pulled out already – including one who has had a fair amount of experience in similar schemes. Do you honestly think CHBDC has the skills to make better investment decisions than Trust Power or Ngai Tahu?

Your proposal to invest $5,000,000 into the RWSS (which includes $4,000,000 of borrowings) reminds me of the parable of The Emperors New Clothes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story The Emperor’s New Clothes is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”

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. It should ring warning bells with you around the robustness of the analysis that has been undertaken on the scheme.

Personally I look forward to a future when our farms are environmentally, socially & economically sustainable. This can and should be done. We should be looking at the top 10% of performers and emulating them, not bowing to the demands of the bottom 10% of performers.

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One Response to Submission to CHBDC on wasting $5m on RWSS

  1. Pingback: Central Hawkes Bay District Council and the dam | Hawkes Bay Greenie

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