Tue 3 Sept. 19.
Horizons Councillor Bruce Rollinson gives last debrief to Council
After two terms as a councillor representing Ruapehu on Horizons Regional Council Ohakune farmer and market gardener Bruce Rollinson has decided against standing for re-election this year.
Delivering his final update to the District Council at their meeting last week Councillor Rollinson reflected on Ruapehu’s place in the region and the knowledge and approach the new councillor will need to get things done.
“I have always contended that Ruapehu was the ‘jewel in Horizons crown’ and with our two national Parks the bio-diversity capital of the region,” he said.
“Despite this with only one vote it will be critical that Ruapehu elects a strong representative who understands rural issues and is able to network and build relationships with the other Regional and District elected members.
The new councillor will also need a strong commitment to getting to know Ruapehu’s diverse rural communities and developing a good understanding of their issues.
Critical to Ruapehu’s future are the need to protect our prime, elite soils from inappropriate development such as housing and the growing social and political pressure to protect the quality of fresh water.
While Ruapehu does not yet have the same level of pressure such as in Bombay and Pukekohe outside Auckland on our prime soils this pressure is growing.
The National Policy on Fresh Water that is about to be released is expected to raise the bar significantly in terms of the best management practice farms must adhere to in mitigating the impact of their operations on waterways.
If farming isn’t able to meet these best management practices voluntarily it is anticipated that new regulations with mandatory compliance will come in.”
Mayor Don Cameron said that with Bruce not standing again Ruapehu was losing a councillor with a lot of knowledge and experience who would be hard to replace.
“He has been able to build bridges and get good outcomes for Ruapehu despite the complexity of the issues and frustrations of local government.
Ruapehu would like to thank Bruce for all his efforts and wish him well for the future while we look forward to building and equally successful relationship with whoever is elected next.
One of the first things the new councillor may well need to address are any implications for version 2 of the One Plan (Horizons resource management planning document) from Environment Court challenges.
If successful this could see One Plan V2 need to be amended to reflect any Environment Court rulings,” he said.