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  1. Cr Daran Ponter, 13. July 2020, 20:54

    Ian Apperley! Do I really need to tell you “don’t believe everything you read in the paper?” Here’s some context.

    Mr Hayes has had free trapping from Greater Wellington for many, many years. The Taumata Lagoon (essentially an isolated ox-bow from the Ruamahanga River) was deemed to be one of our original Key Native Ecosystem when the programme commenced back in to the mid-90s. However, the Key Native Ecosystem programme grew to such an extent that we were unable to service management of pest plants and predators within the available funding. We completed a region wide review using a DoC prioritisation process and removed Key Native Ecosystem status from a number of sites – Taumata Lagoon was one of these.

    We provided Mr Hayes with a written notice that Greater Wellington services would be removed in 3 years time (3 years Ian – unheard of!). We also advised that if he were interested in servicing the traps we would leave all the hardware in place for them. His two neighbours understood the process and explanation and now undertake their own servicing.

    After the 3 year period (so, not in the three year period he had already been notified of), Mr Hayes used the OIA process to request details of the decision making process, despite already having been provided with this material 3 years ago. There has been much communication with Mr Hayes to explain the process. Mr Hayes didn’t like the answers he got … but thought that by going to the media he would twist the arm of ratepayers to keep funding pest control on his property.

    In summary, I suggest that Mr Hayes has been the receiver of a very high level of Greater Wellington services, far higher than the majority of our ratepayers. He wants these services to continue at no cost to him.

  2. Ian Apperley, 14. July 2020, 10:02

    Hi Daran! Thank you for a comprehensive answer, as usual. Great to hear the other side of the story. I’ll make sure to put that across in my next article. We’ve also offered Neil help with trapping on his block and I see a few traps around.