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She said she would use tomorrow’s ORC meeting to officially say she wanted people to know her potential ousting was "yet another attempt" by the ORC to "ignore national policy statements and reviews of its poor planning”.
“If I had gone quietly, the many citizens hoping for environmental improvements in Otago would have been told in whispers that I was too old, too stressed,” she wrote in her chairwoman’s report to the meeting.
Referring to the past few weeks, in which it became clear her position would be challenged, she prefaced the comments with “it has been all on”.
Deputy chairman Michael Laws remained adamant the issue at hand was one of personality, not policy, telling the ODT it was
"grossly unfair" for environmental groups and letter writers to characterise the leadership challenge as an attempt to hinder the improvement of Otago’s waterways.
It was actually about finding who was best suited to lead the council, he said .
“This is all about personality, and not about policy nor programmes.
"The disingenuous representation that this is a farmers versus greenies scrap does the claimants no credit.
“[It] is not about Otago water, nor the Otago environment, nor the implementation of national water policy,” he said.
The comments in her chairwoman’s report were "not only not true, but almost a fantastic delusion", he said.
Ms Hobbs’ comments suggested most councillors did not think the environment was important, which was "unfortunate and very, very sad", he said.
"It denigrates every reason why every councillor stood for the ORC."
The comments were an indication as to why councillors, including councillors from both sides of the plan change debate, were requesting new leadership, he said.
When asked, Ms Hobbs said the first attempt by councillors to "ignore" national standards came in a letter written on March 26.
The letter by seven councillors called for a 12-month re-evaluation of the council’s policy and finances, including the withdrawal and suspension of plan changes in progress and a review of its regional policy statement.
Ms Hobbs said the letter was focused on water issues, and proved her point the issue was water and not leadership.
The matter has since escalated. Nine councillors wrote to the chief executive seeking a meeting to replace Ms Hobbs after she refused to step down. An extraordinary council meeting on July 8 will determine whether she will be removed from the role.
Ms Hobbs said she went to the unusual lengths of writing an official note in her chairwoman’s report to put on record why she was in this situation.
In the report, she also warns what happens to councils if they do not follow through on policy statements.
"A regional council enacts national policy statements and ignores them at its peril, as Environment Canterbury experienced," Ms Hobbs said.
The government replaced that council with commissioners in 2010, in an attempt to sort out water management problems.
Ms Hobbs said she was made aware about three weeks ago some councillors were trying to have her "crossed out".
"We had a meeting ... Everyone promised it was a new beginning and then it all fell apart.
"This has been a long time coming. I will be glad when it is over."
Cr Alexa Forbes said she also believed a "deeper and wider" agenda was at play and it was not just a question of Ms Hobbs’ personality.
The council had made serious gains environmentally over the past six months and she worried that could be undone.
"I do not want to risk that progress. I do not know that a different chair will risk it, but I do see us putting a lot of effort and energy into something that is a distraction instead of getting on with what we are supposed to be doing."
Cr Laws said he thought the chairwoman’s report would be received by councillors as Ms Hobbs was entitled to her personal views, and he believed the rest of tomorrow’s meeting would proceed without disruption.