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The disgraced Kaipara District Council was told at its final meeting that if it did not adopt the Long Term Community Plan, the Kaipara district and its people would be facing ‘Armageddon'
With this message from the Review Team chair, Greg Gent, the council then adopted the Plan by majority vote.
I believe the Kaipara District is still facing Armageddon. The council’s consultants and bureaucrats are still forging ahead with the District Plan, in particular Variation 1 (Landscapes) which is a major threat to private property rights and much needed development.
This District Plan has cost in excess of $6 million spent on consultants and other bureaucratic initiatives and has destroyed the confidence of ratepayers and left us the most indebted district in the country.
Our citizens and ratepayers can be proud of their fight to have the council thrown out of office. Despite the recent death rattle claims made by the outgoing deputy mayor, that the appointment of commissioners would destroy democracy in Kaipara, I believe that democracy is alive and well.
The commissioners over the next three years will give us a great opportunity to engage and work with an extremely experienced group of individuals who have been directed to regain our trust and confidence. We have won the war, but we must win the peace, if we are to survive and prosper as a district. We must ensure the commissioners see that the Plans deliver the economic development vital for economic recovery and survival.
The District Plan Variation 1 (Landscapes), in its current form will I believe, threaten the establishment of Meridian’s wind power generation plans for the Pouto Peninsula. This project has the potential to provide enough electricity for in excess of 250,000 households, which will make Kaipara an exporter of power and provide much needed security of energy for future Northland development. If Meridian’s plans fail, we all fail.
Farmers of New Zealand and Meridian Energy have lodged appeals against Variation 1, and also against the Environment Defence Society, which receives funding from the government, and is trying to introduce wide-ranging Visual Amenity landscapes that will have a huge impact on Kaipara — it’s farmers, businessmen, and property owners — on all of our citizens.
Positive change will only happen if we support the new commissioners, and also deliver a clear message that we are prepared to be fair and be involved, but we will not be taken for granted. We will not accept our property rights and businesses being compromised by a District Plan that has no recognition of the economic well-being of the overall Kaipara community.
Otherwise the end will indeed be Armageddon.