Watershit Down

The Government has bowed to public pressure and announced what they claim is a “wide reaching” enquiry into how Havelock North and other parts of Central Hawkes Bay lost their once safe water supply.

One small problem, however. Cabinet has decided that the enquiry should not, under any circumstances, look at the possibility that farming is to blame.

Got that? It’s wide ranging, but only in a narrow and tightly defined way. Key burbled his way through one of his worst ever interviews on RNZ this morning, trying to make this whitewash sound substantive.  He really is sounding like a pisstake of himself these days.

The terms of reference include this judicial choke collar:

Exclusions from inquiry and scope of recommendations.
The Inquiry is not to inquire into, determine, or report in an interim or final way, or otherwise
prejudice any of the following matters: a) Questions of civil , criminal, or disciplinary liability; and
b. the structural arrangements for local government.
Ah, yes. The structure of local government. Readers with long memories will recall the National government reigned in local government shortly after being elected in 2008, insisting that councils stick to the basics of local service delivery.  We know how bad that has been for Auckland, but the anti-social results have mostly hidden in the provinces. And this enquiry is determined to keep it that way.

Could it be that National have made the cynical calculation that letting down the people of the CHB, and other provincial areas, is less risky than making farmers accountable for their poisoning their neighbours?

Just how far will National let intensive farming water shit down?

In the meantime, perhaps Hastings should bite the bullet and consider twinning with Flint, Michigan?

They’ve got a lot in common these days.

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About tereoputake

Lefty, footballer, vegetarian View all posts by tereoputake

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