Fisking Trevor

April 6th, 2010 at 11:24 am by David Farrar

Trevor at Red Alert says:

The case in point, if the facts as alleged by Norman are accurate, is a pretty clear cut one. as a farmer in Canterbury has a case currently before Ecan to increase his water rights and therefore the value of his land. He takes part in the Cabinet debate and decision to scrap Ecan and short circuit the system for the decision relating to his farm. About as obvious a conflict as one could get and certainly well over the perceived conflict test.

Now I know Trevor doesn’t let the facts get in his way, but this one is particularly untrue. The facts:

  1. David Carter has no case or application before ECAN to increase his water rights and indeed never has. Total fiction. This is a matter of public record.
  2. The consent to take water from the Hurunui River for his Cat Hill farm is an existing historical one that was transferred into Carter’s name when he bought the property 4 years ago. It has not changed since then.
  3. The Cat Hill property will not be affected either negatively or positively if the Hurunui Water Project proceeds as the farm due to its topography and the fact that it is outside of the catchment zone cannot and would not be irrigated further.
  4. Trevor’s claim that there is a conflict of interest that needed to be declared is utter bullshit. He knows this himself as he has said “If the facts are accurate” which are weasel words for when you know they are not.
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15 Responses to “Fisking Trevor”

  1. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    A good example of the truth hiding in the details.

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  2. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    I’m not defending Mallard, as I am aware of no evidence that Carter is seeking a variation of his resource consent for drawing water from the Hurunui River to irrigate his Cat Hill farm, but take a look at Carter’s existing resource consent, in particular these conditions:

    2 (a) Whenever the mean flow (expressed in cubic metres per second) in the Hurunui River, as estimated by the Canterbury Regional Council from measurements at the Mandamus recorder site (at or about map reference NZMS 260 M33:725-240), for the 24 hour period ending at noon on any one day falls below the following flows, there shall be no taking of water in terms of this permit during the next succeeding day Month: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Flow: 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 13 17 16 11.5 (b) Whenever the mean flow (expressed in cubic metres per second) in the Hurunui River, as estimated by the Canterbury Regional Council from measurements at the Mandamus recorder site (at or about map reference NZMS 260 M33:725-240), for the 24 hour period ending at noon on any one day falls below the flows shown in the vertical axis of the annexed graph, then the rates of abstraction permitted in terms of this right for the next succeeding day shall not exceed those shown as corresponding in the horizontal axis of the annexed graph. Provided that whenever the Canterbury Regional Council, in consultation with the Water Users Committee representing all water users who are subject to this condition, has determined a water sharing regime which restricts abstraction from the Hurunui River in accordance with the minimum flow of part (a) of this condition, then the taking of water in accordance with that determination shall be deemed to be a compliance with this condition.

    6 The Canterbury Regional Council may, on the last working day of June and November each year, serve notice of its intention to review the conditions of this consent for the purposes of: (a) dealing with any adverse effect on the environment which may arise from the exercise of the consent and which it is appropriate to deal with at a later stage; or (b) complying with the requirements of a relevant rule in an operative regional plan.

    If the Water Conservation Order application is successful, or if it is not and the proposed Hurunui irrigation dam goes ahead, surely this has potential implications for the irrigation of Carters farm in the context of conditions 2 and 6 of his existing consent, and he therefore has a conflict of interest. He doesn’t need to have applied for a variation of the consent for there to be a conflict of interest.

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  3. david (2,539 comments) says:

    You draw a verylong bow Toad. If tax cuts for those with incomes over $70,000 are proposed, EVERY MP IN THE HOUSE will have a conflict of interest under your rather extreme definition. Thus such a bill shouldn’t attact a single vote.
    By the same token, Jeanette and every Green MP contributing to the Green Party Super Scheme had a conflict of interest relative to WPT when the Project Aqua proposals were being debated, Helen (bless her cotton socks) had one over all matters that affected house prices and Cullen had one over his envy tax.
    Or is that the Green mantra.
    Grind everything to a halt and eventually it will slide inexorably backwards.

    Shame that a few people can’t have their births reversed, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to start a list.

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  4. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    david, it is not just that Carter was an MP who voted under Party whipping for something that peripherally affected him. He actively injected himself into the Hurunui issue by meeting with applicants for the Water Conservation Order to attempt to persuade them to put their application on hold, when he himself held a resource consent potentially affected by the outcome.

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  5. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    Toad, you’re saying the same thing with different words. He is peripherally impacted personally, he has a farm with an existing water consent that will have some minor impact if the law in this area changes. He was presumably elected in part by an electorate that thought he empathised with their issues, being a farmer and all. If he has to recuse himself from any discussions that relate to farming, seems a bit pointless to go electing a farmer.

    The argument is exactly the same on those Greens who put their money where their mouth is and invest in various green enterprises. I actually strongly support this – it means you genuinely believe it. But they also often will be involved in discussions involving various Green policies, that often would impact on the value of their investments. If we have a rule that anyone with Green investments cannot be involved in Green policy making, then it seems to take the point out of electing Greens into Parliament.

    The exact same argument applies for the exact same reasons. Suggesting that the two are different does you no credit, you need to either condemn both, or agree that in both cases we are trusting these folks to be trustworthy, and to vote their beliefs, not their personal interests.

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  6. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    Sorry, PaulL, you miss my point. This is not a matter of legislative processes or policy making. This is Carter in his Ministerial capacity involving himself in a judicial process, the outcome of which has the potential to affect him in his personal capacity.

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  7. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    And what reasoning did he give for involving himself in that process? Was it legitimate, or are you accusing him of attempting to improve…what, the value of his property? Does that even pass the sniff test?

    I’m just interested in what you’re getting at. That he involved himself in a judicial process and shouldn’t have, or you’re accusing him of some sort of corruption? If you’re not accusing him of some sort of corruption, then what exactly are you accusing him of? And how is that different from Green MPs campaigning for subsidisation of insulation whilst owning shares in insulation companies?

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  8. Michaels (1,317 comments) says:

    Trevor is always good for a bullshit story, and as you say DPF, why let the truth get in the way.

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  9. wreck1080 (3,730 comments) says:

    This is disgraceful.

    Can Mallard be sued for defamation?

    I’d do it under the reported circumstances.

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  10. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Hows that deal to be your own landlord at the expense of the taxpayer going for you toad?

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  11. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    Ah, here’s Russel Norman, suggesting neither Trevor Mallard or you have got it quite right, DPF, and setting out the case re Carter’s conflict of interest.

    There is also the issue of what appears to be a false answer by Carter to a Parliamentary question that he needs to provide an explanation for.

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  12. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    What does Trevor expect members of Cabinet to do every time property reguation or income tax or MP expense reimbursement comes up for discussion? Is the whole of Cabinet going to leave the room?

    Is the Left capable of understanding the world via any narrative other than conspiracy?

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  13. thedavincimode (6,532 comments) says:

    If Toad’s facts are correct, then he is likely quite right.

    If Carter is part of any decision-making or approval process relating to that scheme and stands to directly benefit from the scheme, irrespective of whether he is part of it, then he is conflcited. He can benefit by the scheme mitigating low flow restrictions that Toad has referred to.

    Whether that conflict exists is determined by the ownership of his farm. If he is owner or part owner, or is a shareholder or director of a company owning the property, or trustee of a trust owing the farm or farm-owning company, then he is conflicted and should exclude himself from any ministerial involvement in the process. Aside from potential availability of more water, any mitigation of low flow restrictions is potentially adding to the capital value of his farm.

    Examples cited by PaulL and David don’t change this – they are simply not in the same category of conflict; particularly as they reflect voting as distinct from, for example, Ministerial decision-making. However, a watermelon minister (heaven forbid) that stood to benefit from his or her own decisions by virtue of an investment in hand-crafted macrame knitting facility would be conflicted in the same way that it appears Carter might be.

    This isn’t a big deal; if there really is an issue then he only needs to exclude himself from any process affecting that project.

    As for the Mallard beatup, or should that be bullshit, why would anyone be surprised and why should anyone care what he says or does? He has boxed himself into a public perception from which he won’t ever escape. The most he will ever do is provide us with amusement as he continues to shoot himself in the foot with his bare-faced lies and the shameless duplicity and hypocritical style while he steadfastly ignores all of the dodgy dealings he and his mates got up to during the court of Helengrad. All you have to do is recall the photo of him standing in the dock looking like a scared little school boy.

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  14. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    thedavincimode: not convinced at all. I don’t believe he is getting any material benefit – slight flow increases aren’t likely to make all that much difference. Certainly no more than an MP who was invested in insulation companies and actively lobbying for free insulation.

    The point is that if we can’t trust our politicians to manage this sort of minor (even insignificant) conflict, then I don’t see how we could possibly trust them to run our country.

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  15. Swampy (273 comments) says:

    Meanwhile the people of Canterbury are still waiting for National to explain why there was such an urgent need to steal the water from the Regional Council’s management. There is no urgency except for the 2011 elections, a much greater conflict of interest for the whole National Party.

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