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Region not interested in quick cheapie

That Manawatu Standard has not taken a stance on whether MRP's wind farm application should be approved, but the outcome is too important to this region for the input of the people to be undermined in any way. The process must not only be fair, it must be seen to be fair. One of biggest battles MRP faced from the outset, whether it knew it or not, was public relations. After doing the dirty on the PNCC and the people it represents, that's one battle it now hasn't a hope of winning.

Mighty River Power has fronted up to explain - sort of - why it decided to go behind the Palmerston North City Council's back and ask the Environment Minister to call in the power company's application to build a wind farm at Turitea.

The PNCC wrote to the Minister last week telling him the council is capable of dealing with MRP's resource consent application locally. The council also wrote to MRP asking it to withdraw its request for the application to be called in by the Minister.

In an apparent effort to overtake Winston Peters as the frontrunner for the 2008 Most Disingenuous Public Statement Award, MRP group strategist Neil Williams said the company would consider the council's request carefully. If only that statement would fit on a white sign for Mr Williams to wave in front of a press conference.

Mr Williams has said, "The one-step consideration offered by the call-in process is an efficient way for the matters to be heard, both in time and cost," which is fair enough, until he finished the sentenced with, "for the community, the councils and Mighty River Power."

Efficiency might be what MRP is after, but the people of this region are more interested in having a process that is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Mighty River Power has fronted up to explain - sort of - why it decided to go behind the Palmerston North City Council's back and ask the Environment Minister to call in the power company's application to build a wind farm at Turitea.

The PNCC wrote to the Minister last week telling him the council is capable of dealing with MRP's resource consent application locally. The council also wrote to MRP asking it to withdraw its request for the application to be called in by the Minister.

In an apparent effort to overtake Winston Peters as the frontrunner for the 2008 Most Disingenuous Public Statement Award, MRP group strategist Neil Williams said the company would consider the council's request carefully. If only that statement would fit on a white sign for Mr Williams to wave in front of a press conference.

Mr Williams has said, "The one-step consideration offered by the call-in process is an efficient way for the matters to be heard, both in time and cost," which is fair enough, until he finished the sentenced with, "for the community, the councils and Mighty River Power."

Efficiency might be what MRP is after, but the people of this region are more interested in having a process that is accessible, inclusive and focused on reaching a fair outcome - not just a quick, cheap one.

Incredibly, Mr Williams believes MRP's and the PNCC's difference of opinion on the merits of calling in the consent application should not affect the relationship between the two.

It's a bit like a husband telling his wife the naughty text messages to another woman discovered on his phone shouldn't affect their marriage. MRP and PNCC are contractual partners and while sneaking off to the Minister to satisfy its efficiency urges may not be a technical breach of the contract, it is infidelity nonetheless.

"We remain committed to maintaining our positive and constructive relationship with the Palmerston North City Council," Mr Williams said. Yeah, good luck with that.

That Manawatu Standard has not taken a stance on whether MRP's wind farm application should be approved, but the outcome is too important to this region for the input of the people to be undermined in any way. The process must not only be fair, it must be seen to be fair.

One of biggest battles MRP faced from the outset, whether it knew it or not, was public relations. After doing the dirty on the PNCC and the people it represents, that's one battle it now hasn't a hope of winning.

One more thing: Centrepoint officially welcomed its new artistic director, Kate Louise Elliott, last night. Centrepoint is a massive contributor to Palmerston North's cultural vibrancy, so it's comforting to know its future seems to be in safe hands.


Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuf...

SEP 17 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/17133-region-not-interested-in-quick-cheapie
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