Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Editorial: The fake Foreign Minister

Jokes aside, what is Winston Peters doing in the Government? His decision to take the role of Foreign Minister and move it out of the Cabinet was odd enough, but his apparent disinclination to sit even on a Cabinet committee is ridiculous.

Like any large organisation a Government makes most of its decisions one level down from its supreme body. The Cabinet mostly approves actions that have been discussed and resolved by committees of ministers and officials. For Mr Peters to absent himself from the committee that deals with foreign relations reduces his role to that of little more than a roving ambassador.

That is obviously as he wants it. He is content to represent policies and decisions he has had no part in formulating in the belief that he might thus preserve the independence of his party. That belief is likely to prove wrong. Already we have the spectacle of the New Zealand First leader leaving at home his party's well-known suspicions of Asian immigration so that at the Apec foreign ministers meeting in South Korea he can try to revive the flagging number of Asian students coming here.

The election results place Mr Peters in an invidious position. Unless he promised his party's votes on one side or the other a stable Government could not have been formed. But he did not need to accept a ministerial position. The rest of his party have to be content with the policy concessions secured from negotiations with Labour. Mr Peters could have been content with those too. He could have trumpeted his extra police and his small gain for superannuitants and thereafter distanced himself from the Government to his heart's content.

But he has been unable to resist a role of some grandeur and his position becomes more ludicrous by the week. It was understandable that he would not want to be in Labour's Cabinet, but Cabinet committees have a much lower profile and do largely practical, procedural work. Mr Peters could have chaired the committee on foreign relations and defence and nobody would have suggested the job was anything other than routine. But it seems he will not even be a permanent member of the committee. The Prime Minister says she or Defence Minister Phil Goff will convey the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advice to the committee, which Mr Goff will chair.

If this is the way Mr Peters wants it, he is inviting more than ridicule. He invites serious questions about the value he is offering for his ministerial salary and the considerable expenses of that office. Helen Clark sees no problem in this arrangement but she is hardly an uninterested party. He has agreed to prop up her Government and that will seem to her to be well worth his price. But he must tell us why he is putting us to the expense of paying him a ministerial rate if he is not going to do the donkey work in the Cabinet committee.

The Prime Minister expects that Mr Peters will attend the committee in the event of something major, such as a regional crisis, but ordinarily, she says, ministry chief executive Simon Murdoch will attend the committee and Mr Peters will be "briefed" by ministry officials. He will be given riding instructions on what the committee has resolved and will be expected to faithfully represent those positions abroad.

But if the country was going to hire a roving ambassador to promote the likes of free trade deals, nuclear pacifism and education for non-English speakers, the leader of New Zealand First would not be the obvious candidate. If he wants to pretend he is Foreign Minister the least he could do is contribute to the decisions he must defend. Otherwise he declares his job a sinecure - all status, no responsibility.

Fran O'Sullivan: All eyes on Peters at Apec build-up

Newbie Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is already stealing the Kiwi media limelight at his debut Apec outing in Korea.

Labour's Phil Goff - who will take up the critical trade negotiations portfolio from his Cabinet colleague Jim Sutton - has lost a significant media profile this time around to his replacement in foreign affairs.

Despite Goff's proposal to form a cross-party coalition with National on vital trade issues - in some respects to overcome official concerns that Peters will jeopardise Chinese free trade talks by throwing a bucket of rhetorical invective at them - it is Peters who is getting the public play so far as he embarks on a whirlwind series of bilateral meetings to introduce himself to his Asia and Pacific counterparts.

Even Sutton - who will leave the Cabinet after a major global tradefest next month - was yesterday sanguine about the arrival of a new kid on their block.

But he was also concerned enough to make sure the real game in town as far as New Zealand is concerned does not get buried by the Peters' hoopla.

"It's Mexican standoff on top of Mexican standoff" was his response to initial soundings in the trade ministers' fraternity.

The big multilateral game at this talkfest is the looming stalemate in the World Trade Organisation's Doha development round.

Already the WTO's Director-General, Pascal Lamy, is playing down expectations for the Hong Kong ministerial meeting next month after the European Union dug its heels in over United States-led demands for greater sacrifices by Europe's subsidy-enriched farmers, who get double the protection of their American counterparts.

The 21 economies from Asia, Oceania, Latin America and North America include most of New Zealand's major trade and economic partners, with that one vital omission.

The European Union.

Sutton, who despite being pushed from the Cabinet by Prime Minister Helen Clark, is still strongly enough rated by his peers to be invited into the WTO ministers' inner sanctum, was not optimistic about the chances of a grunty and ambitious statement emerging from the leaders on Saturday.

He was to take part in yet another inner-circle meeting yesterday before the major trade ministers' retreat to try to forge a strategy with other like-minded ministers to persuade Apec agricultural protectionist countries such as South Korea and Japan to liberalise protected sectors.

A senior officials' text circulated this week made the right noises but basically committed the leaders to little but empty rhetoric.

Instead, the huge bureaucracy which has sprung up around Apec is talking up issues such as capacity building and ecotech policies which do not require political leaders to suffer any political pain by stripping away protection from elite sectors and possibly face retaliation.

But the central focus of Apec in the first place is trade liberalisation - the ambitious goals of free and open trade and investment among member nations by 2010 for developed countries and 2020 for developing nations - which often gets overlooked in the efforts by officials to justify their budgets.

Already the Apec Business Advisory Council is underwhelmed by the lack of movement on the Doha Round and is threatening to kick up rough when it meets the leaders on Saturday.

Last year Abac put on ice its own proposal for a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP) in favour of making progress on the broader multilateral round.

But another year has gone by and little has happened.

In reality, the 23 Asia Pacific nations will not make much progress beyond mere rhetoric unless they can get their own protectionist members to show some leadership to the Europeans.

Abac is already suggesting it may be time to dust off the FTAAP proposal - but Sutton claims the problems are really no different from those facing the WTO.

Any deal will still involve sacrifices by protectionist countries, just different ones.

The problem is that the trade ministers are now starting to muse about fallback positions in case the Doha deal ultimately lacks substance or, worse, fails.

One potential is to scale down the WTO and form a mirror, but smaller organisation, for those countries that want to move faster and further to liberalise their markets.

Another option is to set up a new constitution for a different governance where decisions are forged by majority - or a UN Security Council type overlord - rather than by consensus among 149 nations.

It is this mind-boggling stuff that makes the role of foreign ministers seem more glamorous.

Even before Peters swept into town - dogged by a tiny media entourage - he went public in the South China Morning Post on his stance towards Asia and Asians.

The sentiment was vintage Peters: his calls to restrict Asian immigration would not be an issue when he met up with Apec foreign ministers who had far more aggressive policies.

But there were a few embarrassing faux pas, which the Post pointed out, such as not knowing the name of Lee Kwan Yew's successor as Prime Minister of Singapore, or the name of Tung Chee Hwa, first chief executive of the special autonomous region of Hong Kong.

In the grand scheme of things it was no big deal. But the Post 's delight in ridiculing its subject shows that Peters will have to build credibility in Asian circles rather than take it for granted.

Peters' dance card in Pusan is full as he juggles bilateral meetings with experienced foreign ministers such as Australia's Alexander Downer and China's Li Zhaoxing.

Downer has privately ridiculed Peters in the past. But he is a consummate professional.

Li - a diplomat with a penchant for writing poetry - is well up with New Zealand issues. But Peters is unlikely to get much joy in the short-term as he tries to bolster Chinese student numbers in New Zealand once more.

The Chinese have diversified their own education industry and are getting into the export education game themselves.

To make any movement on this score some careful strategising will be required.

It's just possible that the train has left the station - for good.

Sideswipe

Some words just don't go together well.

By Ana Samways

Gwyneth Paltrow is a germophobe, according to a report, who takes her own hairbrush and comb to the hairdresser, won't use public toilets, and has even taken to scrubbing the bathtubs at hotels where she's staying. She's always been pretty clean-obsessed, but recently it's reached a whole new level, a source close to the actress told Star magazine. According to the source, Paltrow insists that visitors take off their shoes at her house, she sometimes won't shake people's hands, and she often asks people to use antibacterial soap before they touch her young daughter, Apple. Paltrow's spokesman confirms the actress' no-shoes policy and says that when Apple was a few weeks old her mother may have been rather protective but dismisses the other claims.

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While browsing Trade Me looking for a portable spa, a bemused reader came across an unusual potential buyer in Q & A section. "I am looking for a spa to wash some of my pigs. How many average sized pigs do you think I would be able to fit in it ... thanks.'

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In his review of Elizabethtown, TimeOut film critic Russell Baillie concluded Orlando Bloom can't act. (At the office water cooler he went as far as to suggest that Bloom was the Leonard Nimoy of his generation in that he required pointy ears to be convincing on screen.) Some readers didn't agree and wrote to tell us so. Wrote Paula: "It kinda pisses me off that you say that Orlando Bloom can't act. If he couldn't act then he wouldn't be in movies, but then again you would probly [sic] say, 'Yes he would because of his good looks'. I think he did very good, plus you have to admit we're all happy to see a contemporary movie from him. Nothing that has to do with swords. And Cameron Crowe is a very good director. I don't think he would of cast Orlando Bloom if he couldn't act." Wrote Sandy: "For Pete's sake ... Orlando is a fine actor. Take your criticism and put the blame where it truly belongs ... on Cameron Crowe ... Your words take me back to Passion of the Christ. Killing the man in this film like you all did in Kingdom of Heaven, eh? Is Orlando Bloom carrying the cross ... bearing the sins of the entire world on his shoulders? I think not. He'll survive it all ... everything that every last one of you ... the critics say about him. And more. As my mom says: 'What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger'." Was our reviewer too harsh or spot on? Can Bloom act or is he just nice to look at?

Maire Leadbeater: On the brink of genocide

When the Pacific Islands Forum leaders met recently they talked a lot about being more inclusive. They even decided to upgrade New Caledonia and French Polynesia from observer to associate status.

But despite being literally next door to the Forum host country, Papua New Guinea, West Papua did not even rate a mention in their communique.

There was no lack of information. West Papuan representatives mounted a strong campaign, and Vanuatu tried to raise the issue.

But the people of West Papua are out of the international spotlight - just as the East Timorese were until the cataclysm of violence in 1999.

Like the East Timorese, their fate was determined back in the days of the Cold War when Western nations, New Zealand included, decided that Suharto was their preferred alternative to a left-leaning administration.

In practice that meant conceding to Indonesia the right to annex the western half of the island of New Guinea, despite the fact that its Melanesian people had little in common with the rest of Indonesia.

In 1969 there was a sham referendum, absurdly called an "Act of Free Choice", but only 1022 hand-picked representatives were allowed to vote.

Human rights groups estimate that this decision has cost the lives of at least 100,000 West Papuan people, and few would deny that the territory is ruled by dint of fear and deep repression.

Earlier this year two men were jailed for 10 and 15 years for daring to raise the banned West Papuan flag at a demonstration.

There are ongoing military operations in the remote highlands and just before the Forum met the troops were reinforced with hundreds of additional soldiers.

Even if moral and humane principles are not part of the foreign policy equation, there are many urgent self-interest grounds which should cause Pacific nations to think again about West Papua.

For example, there is the regional environment impact of Indonesia's exploitation of West Papua's resources. The forests are fast disappearing.

There is no up-to-date independent monitoring of the Grasberg mine of Freeport-McMoran near Timika, the world's richest gold and copper mine.

Back in 1994 a report by Enviro Search International suggested that the tailings were devastating the local river system and would eventually reach the ocean.

Current satellite photos on "Google maps" clearly show what can only be the tailings' plume from the crushing of 220,000 metric tonnes of rock a day flowing into the Arafura Sea.

West Papua has become the focal point of a deadly new HIV/Aids epidemic. The Indonesian Department of Health reports that West Papua has the highest Aids incidence of any province, including Jakarta.

It is believed that the virus entered Papua with Thai fishermen in the early 1990s and the rise in reported cases, which only represent a tiny fraction of the true incidence, has been dramatic. Only 15 cases were reported in 1996 but in June 2005, 1170 were recorded.

A Sydney-based researcher, John Wing, of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, found that HIV infected prostitutes brought into West Papua from Java contributed to the escalating infection rates.

The Pan Pacific Aids Conference held in Auckland paid much attention to the Aids crisis in Papua New Guinea and to the concerted campaign there to combat the spread of the disease. Speakers warned that the problem in Papua New Guinea could reach African proportions in five years if left unchecked.

However, West Papua was off the official radar until West Papuan delegate Dolly Zonggonau put forward the facts.

Based on the estimated numbers of those living with Aids, West Papua with an estimated 11,000 people has an incidence rate at least one and half times greater than that of Papua New Guinea. The impact of the HIV/Aids epidemic in West Papua on the indigenous people is one of the reasons why two recent academic reports have stated that the human rights problem is approaching one of genocide.

It is beyond belief that Pacific leaders can talk about regional co-operation and security while ignoring a human tragedy of this dimension.

* Maire Leadbeater is a spokesperson for the Indonesia Human Rights Committee.

Ronnie Horesh: Bond scheme can do what Kyoto cannot

"The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge."

Tony Blair, speaking at the G8 Climate Change Conference on November 2, confirms what many of us suspected: the Kyoto agreement to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions is dead.

It is unworkable, expensive, politically divisive and ineffectual.

Unlike many who oppose Kyoto, I do not think all its supporters are insincere or motivated purely by a wish to secure funding for their research programmes.

The evidence that the climate is changing is strong and getting stronger, and there is no question that it could have catastrophic effects. It also seems likely that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are a cause.

But that doesn't mean cutting back emissions is the best way to prevent or mitigate climate change.

In their efforts to get the absurdly unworkable Kyoto agreement off the ground, its proponents have squandered precious political capital, and set back the cause of those looking for realistic alternatives.

Perhaps some, including a few in the New Zealand Government, knew Kyoto would never fly, so could support it safely. They would thereby be demonstrating their immense care and compassion for humanity, knowing all along that Kyoto would come to nothing and they wouldn't have to sacrifice anything themselves.

This seems to apply to the European Union. The EU had pledged to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions to 8 per cent below 1990s levels by 2008-2012, but by 2002 they had dropped only 2.9 per cent - and carbon dioxide emissions had risen slightly. Only four EU countries are on track to achieve their targets.

And the EU is economically stagnating. Any significant economic growth would probably end any prospect of its meeting the Kyoto targets.

Kyoto suffers from the same flaw as many of our other environmental and social policies: it assumes that government knows the best way of achieving our goals.

Kyoto is focused entirely on reducing net greenhouse gas emissions. But with climate change the biological and physical relationships involved are many and complex.

Even specialists in climatology disagree about the degree to which the multitude of biological and physical variables cause climate change.

We need to recognise explicitly that we don't know all the answers. Achieving a stable climate will mean investigating a wide range of diverse approaches that don't have anything to do with greenhouse gas emissions - but Kyoto will do nothing to encourage such research.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions or sequestering carbon might turn out to be helpful and cost-effective.

But what if new science tells us either that greenhouse gases are not as important as originally thought, or that there are far more cost-effective ways of achieving climate stability?

Kyoto would grind on, with its expensive and futile controls on greenhouse gas emissions.

Our objective should be to achieve climate stability. A successful policy would encourage those who help stabilise the climate, however they do it.

My suggestion is that governments collectively issue climate stability bonds. These would be sold by auction, and redeemed for a fixed sum only when the climate has achieved an agreed and sustained level of stability. In this way there is no need for the targeting mechanism to make assumptions as to how to stabilise the world climate - that is left to bondholders.

Climate stability bonds would not bear interest and their redemption date would be uncertain. Bondholders would gain most by ensuring climate stability was achieved fast.

Once issued, the bonds would be tradeable on the free market. As the climate became more stable, so the bond price would rise.

Bondholders would have incentives to co-operate with each other to do what they could to achieve climate stability, then to sell their bonds at a higher price.

Governments would decide only on the degree of climate stability they wanted, not on how to achieve it. That would be left up to investors in the bonds, who would have every incentive to maximise the taxpayer's benefit per unit outlay.

Unlike Kyoto, a climate stability bond regime would stimulate research into finding cost-effective ways of achieving climate stability.

Kyoto is flawed because its focus is entirely on net greenhouse gas emissions. We need instead to look at solutions, such as climate stability bonds, that have as their goal the achievement of climate stability. There is too much at stake to rely on the fossilised science of Kyoto.

* Ronnie Horesh is a Wellington economist.

Tapu Misa: No lack of nurture for South Auckland's young talent

It is never a good idea to venture into that area known as South Auckland at a time when the inhabitants happen to be feeling particularly aggrieved with the media, especially when you are the only representative of the accursed profession for miles.

But as I had an invitation to speak at the Otahuhu College prizegiving, and couldn't come up with a good enough excuse to turn it down, I went anyway, and endured the grumpy, but thankfully good-natured, complaints about the media's role in blackening the reputation of South Auckland, a place which doesn't actually exist on the map.

Otahuhu College, in case you didn't know, is right next door to Kings College, which is a cause of occasional confusion for Kings-bound visitors who mistakenly drive in and can't believe that such a nice building and grounds belong to the biggest decile one secondary school in the country.

But any confusion is dispelled the minute you enter the lovely old assembly hall and see the student body.

Very brown it is: 70 per cent Pacific, 12 per cent Maori, and about 14 per cent Asian. Pakeha students make up 3.5 per cent, which is nearly half what it was in 2002. I'm not sure whether it's white flight or simply the pressure of being a minority.

I imagine assemblies at the private school next door look very different.

Everyone, including the nuggety principal, Gil Laurenson, who flayed me, metaphorically speaking, as the nearest personification of The Media, was at pains to point out that many of the kids here are exceptionally talented and clever individuals, destined for great things.

And I don't doubt it. As I told a reader, who wrote after last week's column to say she agreed with black comedian Bill Cosby's assessment of poor black parents, some of these kids will achieve no matter what and a few will fail no matter what.

It's the big group in the middle, who could go either way, that concerns me most.

I sat next to the chair of the Board of Trustees, a Maori woman married to a Tongan. Her children have long since left the school but she continues to serve out of a sense of duty. Now there's an outmoded concept in these days of hyper-inflated salaries.

She told me, proudly, that her son is taking the Hippocratic Oath this week, and her daughter is finishing a degree.

She runs a homework centre, too, out of her garage, for 30 kids, every day of the week. When I congratulated her she gave me one of those looks. These are our kids, she said. If we don't do it, who will?

Someone told me she gave Howard Fancy, the Secretary for Education, quite a talking to when he visited a while ago, about how the kids here couldn't afford to wait around for his ministry to get its act together. But I'm not sure it had the desired effect.

Over a cuppa afterwards I met the two blond, green-eyed daughters of a former teacher who taught at Otahuhu College for 25 years. They come every year to present the Peter Taylor Memorial Prize in their father's honour, as did their mother before them.

They look as if they'd be more at home in Remuera than Otahuhu, but it turns out they are old girls of the school from the late 60s and 70s.

Their father and grandfather went to Kings, but their dad refused to teach anywhere else after coming to Otahuhu, and is credited with starting the school's first Maori club. Both women can remember joining the group and doing the haka, as did all the girls back then.

It was another world. Latin was on the curriculum, the school boasted a full orchestra, and spectacular Gilbert and Sullivan productions were part of its calendar.

A leaner version of the orchestra still plays the classics, but is creating distinctive new sounds, too.

Of many talented performances, one in particular, titled Pacificussion and employing little more than a couple of tin cans and a wooden table, rates a mention as the best original percussion piece I've heard in a long time.

Which accords perfectly with what Brother Steve Hogan, the principal of De La Salle College in Mangere, tells me about the concentration of talent to be found in South Auckland.

You may recall I mentioned De La Salle in last week's column after the Herald on Sunday reported that only 40 out of 900 parents turned up for their parent-teacher evening, and that NZ Idol was suggested as the likely reason for the low attendance.

In fact, 40 per cent of parents attended the evening, which is considerably more than 40, but still down on the usual 60 to 70 per cent.

Idol may have played a part, but only insofar as the students were concerned, because the school has a tradition of students attending the interviews with their parents.

So apologies to the unfairly maligned De La Salle College and school community, especially the parents, who, as Brother Steve points out, are very supportive of their boys' education.

As with Otahuhu College, there are many laudable things happening at De La Salle, which has the largest Pacific Island roll of any boys school in the country.

The literacy programme ensures that reading ages are raised by an average of two years after the boys arrive in Year 7. By Year 11, the school's literacy rate is 72 per cent, above the national average.

There's a breakfast club, where boys have a healthy breakfast before reading and discussing the newspaper; big brother outings provided by the old boys association for at-risk boys lacking positive male role models in their lives; fundraising efforts which brought in $100,000 this year; and other old boys' initiatives including reading help, a homework centre and volunteers who man the school library until 9pm.

An employment programme ensures that the 30 per cent of students who don't go on to tertiary study are helped into work when they leave.

All parents care for their children, says Brother Steve, but some don't know how or can't do it by themselves.

There are more young people in South Auckland than anywhere else in New Zealand. In these concentrations, the law of averages is that you are going to have more of every kind of activity, good or not so good. When I am outside Auckland I find this fact eludes people.

There are more good kids, and more creative strategies, in South Auckland.

And just so you know, they didn't make me write this.

Brian Rudman: Memo to Sir Barry - keep your mitts off Puketutu Island

Manukau City's hearings committee has voted to go to the Environment Court to continue the fight against plans to compost Auckland's green waste on Puketutu Island.

It has also voted to initiate "discussions between affected parties with a view to reaching an agreed solution" which could involve processing Auckland's green waste on Puketutu Island!

Confused? Me too.

Either they're against the despoilation of the unique island off Mangere or they're not. To pass a resolution backing both sides of the debate, as they did on November 1, is, at the very least, odd.

Committee chair Jan Sinclair says it was "to leave things open."

It's been that sort of battle from the start. You'll recall how Living Earth, the region's main processor of garden waste, did a deal with the Puketutu's owners, the Sir Henry Kelliher Charitable Trust, to relocate to the island.

Living Earth was so confident of success that it sold its Pikes Pt site and agreed to leave by April 2007.

However, opposition from the proposed plant's neighbours in Mangere was widespread.

Locals had just seen the Mangere sewage treatment plant transformed and did not want to risk a re-emergence of the smells and insect invasions that had for so long blighted their lives. Neither did they want 50,000 tonnes of green waste trucked past their doors each year.

Watercare Services, which runs the sewage plant, opposed the composters too, fearing it would cop the blame for any problems from the new establishment. Watercare also had its own plans for the island.

On September 16, a joint panel of commissioners representing both Manukau City Council and the Auckland Regional Council refused consent for the compost plant.

They said it was "not appropriate" in relation to the island's "unique landscape" and "regionally significant and cultural heritage values" and would introduce an urban activity to an area zoned rural.

Two commissioners, chairwoman Dianne Glenn and Christine Rose, both ARC councillors, added a supplementary note calling on the region's politicians to discuss "appropriate location(s) of green waste facilities".

On September 27, Living Earth filed an appeal in the Environment Court. Less than a week later, Manukau councillors passed the confusing resolution I started off with. The recommendation from council staff had been that the committee instruct the city solicitor to defend the decision of the commissioners.

At the meeting, a new element was added, reading: "That in the view of the strategic importance of Living Earth's operations to waste minimisation objectives in the Auckland region, and issues around the future of Puketutu Island, council actively facilitate discussions between affected parties with a view to reaching an agreed solution including consideration of alternative sites."

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis tells me this is the key clause in the resolution and "it doesn't rule out consideration being given to Puketutu Island".

He says he's going to get all the "stakeholders", the Auckland Regional Council and Living Earth included, around his table and negotiate a settlement. He says he had hosted Living Earth chief Rob Fenwick in his office "a few days ago" but had not yet spoken to the regional council.

Perhaps he should have. The ARC has also resolved to defend the commissioners' decision against composting on Puketutu in the Environment Court.

It's also moving on a regional solution to the composting problem, and says it's the ARC's business, not Sir Barry's.

Two weeks ago, staff were instructed to initiate an investigation into identifying sites in the region suitable for green waste composting.

At yesterday's meeting of the regional strategy planning committee, ARC Mike Lee formally moved this be done.

Responding to Sir Barry's proposals, he said, "It's a regional issue, not a Manukau City issue", and "there's no way he is going to be running this investigation. We're certainly happy to talk to him but we'll be running the process".

That makes sense to me, particularly if it takes Puketutu off the list as a potential composting site.

The battle to clean up that section of the Manukau Harbour has been too long fought to take this backward step. A compost plant doesn't need sea views. It's up to the ARC to find somewhere more suitable. And fast.