Taranaki Regional Councillor replies…

I attended the Policy and Planning Committee meeting at Taranaki Regional Council, as I have over the six years I have been a councillor.

Just before the meeting, councillors received an email from Ms Roberts, seeking to make a submission on a number of issues, including the development of freshwater quality limits.

Ms Roberts contended that because Niwa was in the process of defining and imposing limits, it was inappropriate for TRC to take any lead in the process.

Her late submission relied on either a mis-reading or a mis- representation of the facts. In my view it is simply nonsense for TRC to wait – possibly for another two or three years – for Niwa to promulgate what it believes are appropriate measurements for Taranaki’s waterways.

No one knows what happens in and affects Taranaki’s 200-odd rivers better than TRC.

And what we are doing is working. The integrity of the vast majority of our waterways is either constant or improving.

Ms Roberts has suggested in her submission that TRC is deliberately manipulating water purity measurements so it can claim, in her opinion incorrectly, that our rivers meet the standards.

Who in their right mind would do this, and for what purpose? Who would we be fooling?

In the years that I have represented the New Plymouth community on TRC I have learned that the environment cannot be managed on the basis of emotion and hysteria.

It requires measurement, science, monitoring and trending, all based on parameters that are appropriate for our environment – not based on some hypothetical national standard imposed by central government bureaucrats. (Abridged.)