Originally intended to be a comment attached to David Williams story here about noncompliance with the Rakaia NWCO, NZFFA Chairman Peter Trolove’s thoughts elevated to a full post.
Thank goodness for the persistence and in depth analysis by Newsroom senior environmental reporter David Williams.
Environment Canterbury has failed to give effect to the Rakaia River NWCO resulting in massive ecological harm to one of Canterbury’s large outstanding braided rivers.
As explanation/background the Ecan Act 2010 was repealed in 2015, but was effectively extended by the Ecan Transition Act 2015.
As far as I am aware the latter act lasted until Ecan councilors were fully democratically elected November 2019
This should have returned Canterbury’s WCOs to full protection as existed prior to 2010
It seems there are issues of both governance and accountability that still need to be addressed.
The Rakaia River NWCO was amended and the unworkable irrigation consents were issued at a time when the Rakaia NWCO was diminished by the Ecan Act 2010, and at a time when Ecan was governed by politically appointed commissioners.
The Chair of the independent commissioners hearing the application to amend the Rakaia River WCO rightly or wrongly accepted the evidence of the applicant.
The revised formula for irrigation water abstraction was clearly written into the 2013 Amendment to the Rakaia River NWCO 1988.
It is up to Ecan, Trustpower, CPW, and the other consent holders to obey the law.
The current Ecan CEO and elected Councillors remain accountable for a mess created by their predecessors. It is unacceptable and unhelpful to talk down Wilco Terink’s report as an internal document of no consequence or to issue redacted versions in reply to legitimate LGOIMA requests.
The current set of elected Ecan Councillors are accountable for the governance of Ecan. The performance and delivery of outcomes by Ecan staff is the accountability of Ecan’s CEO.
There are local government elections near the end of 2022. This is an opportune time to reflect on Ecan’s governance and vote accordingly. This is the only option open to ratepayers seeking accountability for such an unsatisfactory outcome.