Fish & Game tells Horizons ‘stop squirming and act'
Horizons Council told to stop trying to squirm out of its responsibilities
Fish & Game Chief Executive Martin Taylor says Horizons Chairman Bruce Gordon needs to face reality and do his job and ensure the One Plan is implemented.
“Instead of chasing a few river awards it would be better for him to concentrate on doing what the Court has told him to do – implement the One Plan.”
The One Plan is designed to manage natural resources throughout the Whanganui and Manawatu regions and in particular, tackle pollution, improve water quality and preserve environmental diversity.
Martin Taylor says the Horizons chairman is out of step with public opinion and farming’s new direction.
“They have been to court twice on their One Plan failures and they have lost twice, with the court telling them they were being disingenuous and to get on and implement the plan,” Mr Taylor says.
Martin Taylor admits he is surprised Horizons is continuing to ignore the courts and instead trying to change the One Plan.
“What part of the court’s rulings don’t they understand?”
“They have already gone to court twice on this issue and lost each time.
“Instead of wasting millions of ratepayers’ dollars fighting the inevitable and trying to change the plan, they should spend that money making sure it’s properly in place and working,” he says.
“The One Plan shows how farming can be both economically and environmentally sustainable while maintaining water quality for New Zealand’s longer term future.
“It doesn’t need changing, it needs implementing. The Horizons Council needs to stop pandering to a few self-interested dairy farming interests and start working for all its ratepayers and the region’s enlightened, progressive farmers.”
Martin Taylor says Horizons’ failure is also costing the taxpayer.
“The government contributed 40 million dollars to clean up the Manawatu River after revelations it was one of the Western world’s dirtiest.
“Horizons' leadership can’t continue to fritter away taxpayer money while trying to ignore its environmental responsibilities.”
Mr Taylor says Horizons needs to pay attention to the changing public mood, repeated court rulings and expert opinion.
“The Environment Court warned Horizons that what it’s doing is unlawful, invalid and in contravention of the RMA,” he says.
“The RMA’s architect, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, has publicly said the illegality of Horizons’ decision-making is stunning and the rule of law cannot withstand such conduct.
“And now Horizons' ratepayers are appealing to the Environment Minister to install a commissioner to run the council because they are fed up with what it is doing.”
Martin Taylor says these criticisms are damning.
“Any one of these on their own is an indictment of Horizons and the Chairman.”