Environment Southland councillor sparks up after being shut down
Environment Southland councillor Robert Guyton has been shut down from speaking about a damning water quality report at a council meeting.
Councillors instead decided to speak about the issue at a closed workshop in which the public and media will not be invited.
Robert Guyton wanted to talk about a Ministry of Environment Report released on Thursday which says New Zealand’s lakes and rivers are coming under increasing pressure for reasons including land use.
The report was tabled at an Environment Southland committee meeting and Guyton noted the “strident” media coverage it had received that day, including calls from some quarters for an immediate reduction in cow numbers.
However, Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips said the issue would be better spoken about in a council workshop, with Cr Lloyd McCallum agreeing.
Guyton was not happy.
“I am rather puzzled why we aren’t allowed to speak about it now,” he said.
“We seem to be burying it in a workshop. What’s the purpose of this meeting,” he asked.
Phillips said the report was tabled at the meeting as a “heads up” for councillors and the item was not on the agenda.
He said it was appropriate to have a “more considered” discussion about the issue at a later date.