Council staff presented a report to council suggesting that the solution to people having their houses repeated flooded was “the development of a ‘Richmond Catchment Management Framework,'” which would be a good place to start one would imagine. In fact, one would wonder what exactly council staff have been doing to date if they have not had a water management plan in effect?
However, kudos for recognising that they need a management plan. The key strategy or process that this plan revolves around one would assume to be of a constructive nature, given the time they have had to come up with a plan, one would logically conclude. One would be wrong. The key element is, as Cherie Sivignon (Nelson Mail) reports, a “vision for the catchment.”
Oddly enough, a number of councillors thought research into a vision for water management was somewhat redundant. The problem seems to be that every few years there is an abundance of water feeding into the catchment area that our current stormwater facilities are not able to cope with and homes and businesses end up flooded as a result. The vision surely should be managing water flows in the catchment area and upgrading the over capacitated outlet facilities.
Chief executive Lindsay McKenzie requested that the report is received and staff be given an opportunity to reflect on the feedback. It will be interesting to hear how the feedback has resulted in constructive action from council staff, or if they hide behind more paperwork generation.
Another noteworthy outcome of the meeting appears to have been deputy mayor Tim King realising “It’s this disconnect we’ve got between what we think is important, what you’re telling us the community thinks is important and what they actually think is important.”
How many years has it taken the deputy mayor to realise that he has no idea what the community he is elected to represent actually wants?