Watch­dog thanks

Nelson Mail - - COMMENT&OPINION -

In my opin­ion Nel­son res­i­dents can thank Steve Cross and con­cerned mem­bers of the Nel­son Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion along with con­cerned coun­cil­lors for the re­cent re­view in re­gard to con­flicts of in­ter­est (Nel­son Mail, March 15).

I was pleased to also read a fur­ther ex­ter­nal re­port, com­mis­sioned by coun­cil Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Clare Hadley, will aim to en­sure the coun­cil has ad­e­quately tight­ened up on all its prac­tices.

Many will un­der­stand how frus­trat­ing it must have been for coun­cil­lors to find out, thanks to Kerry Neal, that in­for­ma­tion tabled by pro­fes­sional staff in re­gard the pile depth of the Trafal­gar Cen­tre to be so inac­cu­rate. In my opin­ion I agree with Steve Cross when he said ‘‘he was par­tic­u­larly con­cerned with the find­ing that the au­di­tor­gen­eral had been given the in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion by the coun­cil’’. The word, ‘‘se­nior staff’’ could have been added. am want­ing to bull­doze parts of sports fields to build houses with my Point Eng­land De­vel­op­ment En­abling Bill be­fore Par­lia­ment.

She for­got to men­tion that 18 hectares of the re­serve at Point Eng­land has been used for the past 40 years for graz­ing cows. We are to use 12 hectares for 300 homes and the area for pub­lic amenity and sports grounds is be­ing ex­panded. We can­not have valu­able pub­lic land within 10kms of the Auck­land CBD graz­ing cat­tle when peo­ple are in se­ri­ous hous­ing need. I have also en­abled un­used parts of the Ric­car­ton Race­course Re­serve in Christchurch to be de­vel­oped for hous­ing.

New Zealand has a high need for more hous­ing and I have ini­ti­ated dozens of projects in­volv­ing thou­sands of homes. A few in­volve us­ing re­serves where they were not be­ing used. This is what Gov­ern­ment needs to do if we are to se­cure warm, dry, safe homes for all New Zealan­ders. at­tend the event.

If they’d been there, they would have known the fo­cus of the protest was the pro­posal to in­crease the amount of wa­ter be­ing taken from the Takaka catch­ment, the one that feeds Te Waiko­rop­upu Springs, by 70 per cent for dairy farm­ing.

District coun­cil staff tried to re­as­sure con­cerned cit­i­zens but, when you look at the state of our rivers to­day, you can­not blame peo­ple for be­ing both skep­ti­cal and alarmed.

Peo­ple should be skep­ti­cal and alarmed. Sixty per­cent of New Zealand’s rivers are un­safe for swim­ming and not long ago the cur­rent gov­ern­ment was try­ing to con­vince peo­ple that wa­ter­ways only needed to be wade­able.

Add to this the fact that last year 5200 res­i­dents of Have­lock North were struck down with a vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea bug that they caught from tap wa­ter and Ki­wis have ev­ery rea­son to be con­cerned.

The good news is that it’s not too late. If you want to pro­tect New Zealand’s rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, the choice at this year’s elec­tion is crys­tal clear.

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