I must say that I found Andrew Newman’s comments on Friday’s Board of Inquiry (BOI) findings to be revealing. It seems that his solution to the Tukituki exceeding the 0.8 DIN limit is to wait for the magic wand solution of improving farming practices and technology in the future. Problem is that the Plan Change 5 decision made it quite clear that HBRC is legally obliged to maintain or enhance water quality now. The BOI found that RWSS has to comply with Plan Change 5, and that water quality is set at the 0.8 DIN limit. To my mind this means that any consents granted to farmers intending to sign up to RWSS have to demonstrate a reduction in leaching of nitrogen, which I believe does not reconcile with Newman’s comment that HBRIC has “real confidence that we can continue to move ahead”. I would be very interested to hear how HBRC is going to mange the farmer consenting issue so that the Tukituki comes back under the 0.8 DIN limit. Given that they are both regulator and promoter of RWSS it is imperative that we have absolute confidence that HBRC can do this. Given they way that they have managed this whole process to date I don’t believe they can, but would love to be proved wrong.