Comment permalink

A Southern mayor is worried the rural community is ‘‘losing focus’’ due to premature concerns about significant natural areas, or SNAs.

Bryan Cadogan. Photo: ODT files
Bryan Cadogan. Photo: ODT files
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said he had heard ‘‘a lot of misinformation’’ regarding the Government’s draft National Policy Statement (NPS) for Indigenous Biodiversity.

A key component of the new policy will be the identification by councils of SNAs in their districts, which will be legislated for under the terms of the eventual policy statement.

This has led to concerns from some in the rural community that the policy could prevent landowners from carrying out certain activities on their properties where an SNA has been identified.

The statement is under ministerial review, and is scheduled to be released this month.

Mr Cadogan said anxiety about SNAs, and the policy more generally, were premature, and often exaggerated.

‘‘At present the NPS is in draft form only, and we’ve had no signal from the Government that it’s going to appear as scheduled before the month ends.

‘‘When it does eventually emerge, councils have five years to identify SNAs, and a further year to enact the legislation.

‘‘I’ve heard talk of SNAs arising as a result of a tui flying over your paddock, or fines because a cow rubs against a fenced-off SNA. This is misinformation at best, and dangerous mischief at worst, designed to exploit an underlying angst in the rural community by those who may wish to further harmful agendas.’’

He said focusing on the ‘‘what-ifs’’ of a yet-to-be-determined policy were removing critical focus from the ‘‘clear and present danger’’ of the Government’s Three Waters reforms, released for council consideration last month.

‘‘Before Christmas, councils have the most significant decision they will ever make on behalf of ratepayers in front of them, in the shape of Three Waters reforms involving billions of dollars of assets and affecting both rural and urban communities for decades to come.

‘‘Clutha has committed no resources to SNAs at present, and is unlikely to do so for many months yet,’’ Mr Cadogan said.

‘‘I’d appeal to people to ignore the inflammatory rumour, focus on the facts, and focus on the policies that are here and now, and require all our attention to get right.’’

richard.davison@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

Tui-fly-bys and cow-rubbings sound like satire of bad policy, not misinformation, Mayor Cadogan.

One time I thought the Clutha people had a Mayor with some common sense, but alas as time goes by he seems to be further captivated by those whose desires are to control us the people.

Lost faith in this mayor after he branded many of his constituents as 'tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists' in the local news paper.

So far central government has proceeded through with many of their surprise objectives, so to be stating:
‘‘At present the NPS is in draft form only, and we’ve had no signal from the Government that it’s going to appear as scheduled before the month ends.
‘‘When it does eventually emerge, councils have five years to identify SNAs, and a further year to enact the legislation" is a little naïve coming from a seasoned local government official.

Seems this is just pulling the wool over peoples eyes now just like central government have been doing under their supposed 'mandate' of which there was no signal of many of these policies pre election.

Add to this the 3 waters reforms, Bryan are you and your council going to give away rate payer owned water assets to central government so they can be charged back to ratepayers at triple the price over a long period of time ?

Bryan, I think you should be listening, and performing in a manner that you were elected to do.
The alternative is you are unlikely to get elected next time round.

drivesouth-pow-generic-1.png

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter