Bay FM – Review of RWSS

Kia ora koutoa katoa, I’m Paul Bailey, Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor.

Tomorrow is the first full meeting of the Regional Council for this term. The agenda includes a number of items which I think will send a message about the future intentions of council.

The newly elected council has heard the voters loud and clear so we will be starting the discussion about the review of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. This is the start of a process which is required to potentially wind up the scheme. We will also be considering placing a moratorium on any further spending on the scheme. After all why throw more good money after bad?

Supporters of the scheme have been banging on about voters being misinformed and being told half truths. When I ask how, they have no answer. They can not tell me where I have misinformed or told a half truth.
These types of divisive clichéd statements need to be put to bed. The easiest way to do this is to open the curtains and shine sunlight on the ins and outs of the scheme.

There are many voters who don’t feel this is necessary. They think the scheme is a lemon. I agree. There are also many voters who are not sure because they lack information. It is for these voters that I think we need to go through a process of reviewing the scheme. As for the schemes supporters, it is unlikely they will ever change their minds.

I remain convinced that once the facts of the matter start coming out the scheme will fail under it’s own weight. There is also a matter of finding out just what costs we are up for. I am looking forward to transparency in the discussion around the scheme. Something that has been sadly lacking to date.

There are other discussions which we will also be looking at starting. How do we deal with the Water Bottling Plant issue? What can be done about Feedlots? And what needs to be done to place a moratorium on fracking. Huge topics in their own right.
So some big changes are ahead for the Regional Council.

There is every chance Hawke’s Bay will be the center of national media attention tomorrow. For positive reasons. Hawke’s Bay is going to be front and center of something really exciting. I hope you are up for the challenge and are prepared to participate. Because we are all in this together. The future of Hawke’s Bay belongs to us and no one else.

Thanks for listening, I’m Paul Bailey, Hawke’s Bay Regional Councillor.

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The dam can still be canned – Letter to Editor

The thing that surprises me most about Fenton Wilson’s letter (To late on dam objection 19/9/16) is that the Chairman of HBRC has little understanding of political risk.


A new council could well have a different view on HBRC investing in the RWSS. There is nothing to stop HBRC imposing new conditions on that investment. For example there has been sufficient new information come to light since the Board of Inquiry to make me ask the question: Is there enough rainfall in the Ruahine Ranges to fill the dam to capacity each year?

As an investor I would want to make damn sure we had enough water to sell before committing ourselves. I am sure ratepayers would want this assurance as well. HBRC would look foolish if they were to proceed if there wasn’t enough water. Not something anyone would want to see I’m sure.

Submitted 20/9/16

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Bay FM – Chairman v Chairperson

Kia ora koutoa katoa, I’m Paul Bailey, Hawke’s Bay Regional Councilor.

There has been much said about the decline in voter turn out in local body elections. I think we can all agree that it is of concern. There have been any number of reasons put forward why the turn out has declined.

We need on line elections, lets go back to using ballot boxes instead of postal votes, it’s the media’s fault.

Personally I think it’s because local bodies have become irrelevant to many citizens. They no longer seem to speak for, or represent them. I think this is especially so amongst younger, and minority voters.

It came as no surprise to me to see as the first item on the agenda at the first council meeting I attended was The Election of Chairman. That’s right Election of Chairman. So I felt compelled to move a motion to amend the wording from Chairman to Chairperson.

This might seem like a very small matter but to me the use of the word Chairman undervalues the contribution that women make to society. I thought it was important that as a council we sent a message to all the woman of Hawke’s Bay that the Regional Council was going to move into the 21st century.

CEO Andrew Newman congratulated me by saying “we’ve just lurched forward twenty years” It makes you wonder what the current attitude towards woman is like inside the Regional Council is like if that’s the case.

A similar notion struck me when I saw the wording of council’s standard opening prayer. Not that there’s anything wrong with opening each meeting with a prayer or affirmation to remind councilors what we are there for, but by only having a Christian prayer many other sectors of our multicultural society were being ignored.

For example Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Pagens, Jedi place little or no importance on Jesus Christ so why should he be the only deity that Hawke’s Bay Regional Council defers to?

To me it’s an issue of inclusiveness and sending a message that every citizen’s view of the world is important. So that’s why I moved a motion to have the prayer reviewed. I’m happy to take any suggestions from listeners on what they think would be a suitable prayer or affirmation. Just email me at

Thanks for listening, I’m Paul Bailey, Hawke’s Bay Regional Councilor.

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