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“The public is to be advised”

 |  Wendy Pond  | 

In the 3 May Town Chronicle page 21 NZ Defence Force gave notice of a military exercise in the Waikawau Bay area – no logo, no contact person.

TCDC was not informed, as NZ Defence Force insists that its activities are outside our Council’s jurisdiction. Note nonetheless that TCDC is obliged in law to protect the health and safety of its residents.

NZ Defence did not hold a meeting with residents. Without a meeting to hear our concerns, how can TCDC carry out its obligations to the residents of the Waikawau Bay area?

Department of Conservation manages (and does not own) public conservation land at Waikawau Bay. Much of DOC’s work here is carried out by volunteers for whom protecting wildlife habitat is a strongly held value. DOC likewise gave consent for the military exercise without consulting the community.

It is a strange contradiction to endorse a military exercise in an area of significant natural habitat, while encouraging the public to be mindful of actions needed to protect populations of the shy bittern.

Remember Maui’s brothers who, disregarding his directions, trod on the flat land he fished up and turned it into a pock-marked landscape of ridges and gullies. NZ Defence has not asked us if it may make use of our peaceful environment for a military exercise. It has not told us what it plans to do and asked what concerns we have. Rather, it has asserted a right to invite itself in.

NZ Defence has not fulfilled its duty to establish a good relationship with the public. I don’t like the way we are being governed.

In the 3 May Town Chronicle page 21 NZ Defence Force gave notice of a military exercise in the Waikawau Bay area – no logo, no contact person.

TCDC was not informed, as NZ Defence Force insists that its activities are outside our Council’s jurisdiction. Note nonetheless that TCDC is obliged in law to protect the health and safety of its residents.

NZ Defence did not hold a meeting with residents. Without a meeting to hear our concerns, how can TCDC carry out its obligations to the residents of the Waikawau Bay area?

Department of Conservation manages (and does not own) public conservation land at Waikawau Bay. Much of DOC’s work here is carried out by volunteers for whom protecting wildlife habitat is a strongly held value. DOC likewise gave consent for the military exercise without consulting the community.

It is a strange contradiction to endorse a military exercise in an area of significant natural habitat, while encouraging the public to be mindful of actions needed to protect populations of the shy bittern.

Remember Maui’s brothers who, disregarding his directions, trod on the flat land he fished up and turned it into a pock-marked landscape of ridges and gullies. NZ Defence has not asked us if it may make use of our peaceful environment for a military exercise. It has not told us what it plans to do and asked what concerns we have. Rather, it has asserted a right to invite itself in.

NZ Defence has not fulfilled its duty to establish a good relationship with the public. I don’t like the way we are being governed.


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