Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Some defence!

Yesterday Forest & Bird released a report into dirty dairying, showing that some regional councils have been turning a blind eye to pollution. Several regional councils have since tried to quibble over the results - results base don information they provided. For example, here's my local council, Horizons, trying to claim that it doesn't deserve its "D" grade:

According to the information given to Forest and Bird by the council, there was enforcement action against only 31 per cent of the 26 farms found to have serious non-compliance problems.


But Horizons chief executive Michael McCartney said Forest and Bird's information was incomplete, party due to the questions asked by the group.

Other groups often went to the council after compiling a report to check if the numbers were right, but Forest and Bird did not, he said.

Horizons strategy and regulation group manager Dr Nic Peet said the council had at least given an abatement notice to every seriously non-compliant farm.

As noted above, the report is based on information sourced via LGOIMA, so here Horizons is effectively saying that they gave false information in response to a LGOIMA request. Some defence! As for their suggestions that people should check numbers with them, requesters are entitled to believe that information they receive in response to a LGOIMA request is accurate. And if its not, that's on the agency who provided it, not requesters who subsequently publish it.