‘Blood on the street’ excuse for Horowhenua pollution

 

Vivienne Tauekei

Manawatu Wanganui Regional Council ( known as Horizons) has been asked to confirm how many resource consents have been issued illegally in Horowhenua, including those for the Horowhenua District Council.

The request was made by a Lake Horowhenua owner and representative of the Tamarangi hapu of MuaUpoko, Vivienne Taueki, in response to a  March 21 2017 Environment Court decision against the regional council.

Technically illegal move to ‘prevent blood on the street’

In a response to questions from Ms Taueki, Regional Councillor John Barrow described the appeals taken by Fish and Game Council and the Environmental Defence Society (EDS)  to the Environment Court as ‘arguably destructive.’

Regional Cr John Barrow

Cr Barrow said Horizons passed the “technically” illegal resolution to, “in effect, prevent the literal blood on the street that would have eventuated if council tried to force farmers into receivership.”

The Environment Court case won by Fish and Game Council and the Environmental Defence Society  determined the Horizons Regional Council was not giving legal effect to its own One-Plan rules on intensive farming activities, the National Policy for Freshwater Management and the Resource Management Act.

Ms Taueki, who was awarded a Horowhenua District Council mayoral civic award in November 2018 for her work maintaining ancestral lands and waterways, has also asked for a meeting with Regional Council staff and councillors to discuss the adverse effects on “Muaupoko taonga such as Lake Horowhenua and the Hokio stream.”

Lake Horowhenua — once described as ‘one of the ‘most polluted’ lakes in NZ

Muaupoko hold mana whenua over Lake Horowhenua and the Hokio Stream.

Vivienne Tauekei wants answers

She wants confirmation about what resource consents have been granted to Horowhenua District Council by the Regional Council using a resolution ruled by the Environment Court as, “unlawful, invalid and in contravention of the RMA.”

She asked specifically for confirmation about resource consents granted to Horowhenua Council for the Levin Waste Water Treatment Plant, Levin Landfill and the construction of a silt trap – a Lake Accord project.

The illegal resolution passed by the Regional Council on 25 June 2013 was rescinded almost four years later on 28 February 2017.

However, Environment Minister David Parker has become involved because the Manawatu Wanganui Regional Council is still not applying its own One Plan rules on discharges to land, meaning hundreds of resource consents granted by the Regional Council are still illegal.

Cr Barrow’s warning

In his response to Ms Taueki, regional councillor John Barrow urged Ms Taueki and her brother Philip Taueki, who is also a Lake Horowhenua kaitiaki and part-owner, ‘to carefully consider your options.’

A full transcript of Cr Barrows response to Ms Taueki is available here [https://www.linkedin.com/…/technically-illegal-effect-pre…/…]

I’m shocked and disgusted by John Barrow’s comments in his letter to Vivienne – smacks of Don Brash-style racism. Of course the local iwi should have the right to protect their waterways. The state of the lake and rivers in the region is disgraceful and actions by Vivienne and her whanau have been heroic in trying to stop this.

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