A leap of leopards is the term for a collection of leopards
Can a Leopard Change its Spots?
The simple answer to this riddle is yes. A leopard change its location
A leopard never changes it spots means that it’s impossible for one to change their character, even if they will try very hard.
The Bible verse from Jeremiah 13:23 says “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?”
This verse has often served as a basis of belief that a person’s innate character cannot be changed, just as their physical aspects of colour cannot be easily altered (setting aside hair colour!).
Both leopard analogies seem very apt when looking at the recently created Freshwater Commission;
The Freshwater Commission
This factsheet provides a high-level overview of the new freshwater planning process (FPP) introduced by the Resource Management Amendment Act 2020. The freshwater planning process The freshwater planning process is a new plan-making process that regional councils and unitary authorities (‘regional councils’) must use for proposed freshwater provisions in regional policy statements and regional plans (excluding regional coastal plans). This process must be used for proposed regional policy statements or regional plans (or changes) that give effect to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) or otherwise relate to freshwater (‘freshwater plans’).1 If only part of the planning instrument relates to freshwater, the council must use the FPP for that part, and use the schedule 1 process for the other parts. The FPP was introduced to enable regional councils to make changes to their freshwater plans in a robust but more efficient way than the current RMA schedule 1 planning process. The FPP will streamline decisions on freshwater plans by: • requiring regional councils to notify freshwater plans that give effect to the NPS-FM by 31 December 2024 and make final decisions within two years of notification2 • establishing independent freshwater hearings panels with enhanced hearings powers, made up of expert freshwater commissioners, council and tangata whenua nominees
Concerns raised by the New Zealand Federation of Freshwater Anglers (NZFFA)
The NZFFA is concerned that a fast-track freshwater consenting commission comprised of commissioners who have singularly failed to protect freshwater environments in the past, has been established by the Ministry for the Environment to make the regional council consenting processes “more efficient”.
The Chief Freshwater Commissioner
“Overseeing robust and efficient freshwater planning
The Chief Freshwater Commissioner plays a key role in the Freshwater Planning Process
Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities are expected to have plans in place to protect and restore waterways by 2026. These plans will give effect to Te Mana o Te Wai by prioritising the health and well-being of freshwater, in line with the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and other national direction under the Resource Management Act.
The Freshwater Planning Process sets out how decisions will be made on what’s in those plans, taking the views of tangata whenua, communities and other interested parties into account.
Find out more about the process here
Chief Freshwater Commissioner Peter Skelton says this process is intended to help New Zealand move more quickly to protect and restore our freshwater. Read more from the Chief here“
Chief Freshwater Commissioner Peter Skelton is a leopard that has changed his locations.
Cantabrians will always remember Skelton as one of the government appointed commissioners appointed under the Environment Canterbury Temporary Commissioners and Improved Water Management Act 2010 to greatly expand the development of large scale irrigation schemes in Canterbury.
Canterbury’s iconic braided rivers were plundered by targeted dilution of the protections afforded by Canterbury’s existing National Water Conservation Orders (NWCOs) and the blocking of the completion of other NWCOs that were in play.
Skelton and his fellow appointed Ecan commissioners provided the “oversight” that has led Environment Canterbury’s freshwater disaster – toxic and unmanageable levels of nitrate in groundwater and lowland streams & rivers, and gross allocation of Canterbury’s freshwater for irrigation to the detriment of the region’s freshwater ecosystems.
It would be hard to find a more unlikely candidate for the office of Chief Freshwater Commissioner if protection of freshwater was the primary objective.
If however “robust and efficient freshwater planning” is the goal then he appears just the ticket.
Chief Freshwater Commissioner
This set of Freshwater Commissioners comprised of past “Independent” Hearing Commissioners &/or “Expert Witnesses” from an industry of environmental consultants hiring themselves out to advocate for corporate applications to exploit (public) freshwater resources hardly inspires any confidence that New Zealand’s freshwater is in safe hands.
These are the (paid) guys and gals who have contributed to the series of unfortunate decisions that has led to the woeful state of New Zealand’s freshwater which has blown any credibility regarding our “Clean Green New Zealand” brand.
Dr Peter Trolove
[Canterbury angler of 60 for years, distraught about the present state of this regions freshwater]
Cattle duffers on a jury may be honest men enough, but they are bound to visit lightly sins of those that cattle duff Melbourne Age 1880s