Napier City Council – Verbal Submission on 2015 LTP

Kia ora koutou katoa. Thank you for taking the time to hear my submission.

I wish to focus on only two components of my submission, neither relating to the consultation document. It’s not that the consultation document is irrelevant, after all having a record number of submissions being lodged to a LTP is no bad thing, it’s just that I like to discuss issues that require more than yes/no answers.

The first topic is that of consultation. This is something I’ve been frustrated with for some time. I think it’s an issue which is endemic in all of our local body councils, not just NCC.

Let us consider the consultation process that was under taken and outlined in your Resource Consent Application to discharge storm water into Ahuriri Estuary:

All industries within the catchment were contacted by letter drop and invited to a meeting. At the meeting the effects of the stormwater on the receiving environment were explained and Council’s strategy for management discussed.

Forest and Bird along with Ahuriri Estuary Protection Society were contacted and invited to a meeting. The effects of the stormwater discharge on the Estuary were explained as well as Council’s proposals for mitigation and monitoring.

Council’s strategy for management discussed. Councils strategy, not industry’s. I would have thought that given industry was a big contributor to the challenges around pollution of Ahuriri Estuary then they would want to come up with the solution that was workable for them. It is difficult to get buy in when solutions are imposed in a ‘it’s our way our the highway’ manner.

Similarly for the environmental groups. Surely to get someone to work alongside you, you bring them into the tent. Having a meeting to explain councils position smacks of arrogance. There is no discussion.

The meaning of consultation appears to have been lost in legal interpretation. The courts appear to have imposed a minimum definition and councils seem to think that is all they have to meet. I would suggest that you aim for higher things. My submission has offered a way forward at very little cost. I’m sure you know the type of people who could be involved, the reasonable agitators. I have no idea if you see me in this category but I would be available to be involved.

The second issue is one of climate change.

Yesterday, I spent all morning at the market on Marine Parade manning a Green Party stall. I was after signatures on a petition about cleaning up the Waikato River. As you know I’m quite fond of talking and the issue of climate change was raised a number of times.

What I got a sense of was that there is genuine concern about the effects climate change is going to have on our community, but that we can’t do anything about it. They were pleased that we were publicly discussing the issue but felt that there was no one in authority showing leadership on climate change.

This is why I found it disappointing that you did not see climate change as one of the major issues in your consultation document. It also indicates to me that you are missing a great opportunity to demonstrate that NCC is not only focusing on becoming aged friendly but is also thinking about our future unborn generations to come.

In WWI and WWII there were hundreds of divisions fighting on behalf of the allies. New Zealand contributed 1 in both wars. 1 out of hundreds. Was our contribution worthless because it was so small? I think not. Both times our division excelled and are still spoken of as being one of the best, not only by our allies, but by our enemies. If we were prepared to make a minor contribution to the numbers in war, why do we find it so difficult to do so in peace?

To do nothing is to surrender. I don’t think the citizens of Napier want you to surrender. I think the citizens of Napier want you to fight.

You have some plans to mitigate infrastructure challenges, but what are you doing to become carbon neutral? My submission has offered some solutions but I seriously believe you need to form and resource a task force to have NCC work towards becoming carbon neutral. That would be a fight worth having.

Again, thank you for your time. I would also like to say yet again that presenting to you is like a breath of fresh air compared to what goes on across the road. You should all congratulate yourselves for that. I would also like to thank councillors for contributing to on line discussions with the citizens of Napier. It is refreshing. E noho rā

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