I see in this morning's paper [The Press 3 April 2010] that 57% of people surveyed question the period of time that National Government appointees will run Environment Canterbury.
Why will it take so called trouble shooter experts three and a half years to right a structural problem? They have already been given extra powers that Environment Canterbury sought for years but were denied, in a huge piece of political chicanery that one of our few remaining independent newspapers has researched and exposed.
Yet the competence of these persons, given military style top down authority (not subject to elected processes) is such that they will need three and half years? In what sense in that case are these commisioners going to be more effective than the present elected and now deposed-by-coup body? Or is it just a sleezy trick to give disproportionate power to minority rural sector and the huge corporate farming sector, both traditionally National Party bases, and disenfrancise the majority urban centre which tends towards the left and towards wanting to protect the environment and see resources used sustainably in a thorough way. Why should the regional governance be governed by the ethos of the National Party for three and a half years - including probable cuts to public transport given National's history - when that is not for what citizens have voted??