Late last year, the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council finally approved its "One Plan" after a 10 year struggle. The new regional plan imposed tough controls on nutrient leaching - cowshit - and required resource consent for intensive farming. At the time, it was seen as a long-term solution to the filthy, polluted state of the Manawatu river and other regional waterways: less shit would mean a cleaner river.
Of course, that would require tha tthey actually enforce it. Because it turns out that the council aren't, and are instead giving dirty farmers a free pass, allowing them to just keep on shitting:
Farmers in Manawatu-Whanganui are getting around tough new rules to cut down on dirty dairying.
The regional council says tighter controls on nitrate leaching under the regional plan are too hard, and it is giving farmers consents that allow them to pollute more.
The discretionary consents last for 20 years and critics say they give dirty farmers an unfair advantage over those who have met the plan's standards.
How big is the problem? Only 9 of 61 consents issued so far meet the standard. The rest are discretionary consents that violate it. So, rather than cleaning up the river, the One Plan means that 85% of farmers get to keep on doing exactly what they're doing at the moment. And that's just not good enough.
As for the council, they've lied to us. They ran on a platform of implementing the One Plan, they passed it, but it turns out that they're cheating it. That's not good enough either. These fuckers are all up for re-election next year; I think we should de-elect the lot of them and elect councillors who will actually enforce the basic environmental standards they have passed.