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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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SWDC calls me a liar

14 September 2017

I'm sorry for the late publication of today's Daily Dose but it could not be helped, I had to attend a meeting of the South Waikato District Council in order to do two things.

The first thing was to get it absolutely clear, exactly what the CAA regulations pertaining to operating drones in our parks was. To this end, I had the chairman of the meeting read out the contents of an email from CAA which irrefutably proved that my interpretation of the regulations was correct and the council's own Asset Manager's interpretation was wrong.

One of the councilors attempted to stop this from happening -- probably because he knew it would be embarrassing to those elected members who, despite the advice of a world figurehead in the industry (me) took the word of a know-nothing bureaucrat on their payroll.

Never the less, I sidestepped the objection and the email was read. The councilors and staff of the council can no longer use their ridiculous assertion that it is CAA regulations which prevent the flying of drones in our parks. Job done.

Next item on my agenda was the announcement that I had over 150 people from around the world who were prepared to come to Tokoroa this summer for an event at our airfield.

I quantified the benefit of these visitors in dollar-terms which works out at around $100K going into local businesses and a few thousand more going into local charities and community groups.

Remember that this is an event that requires ZERO investment from council and sees them not being out of pocket one red cent.

The response was incredible -- but not unexpected.

One Councilor effectively called me a liar in respect to the attendance numbers and demanded that I turn over my database of people.

When I pointed out to him that the evidence was on Facebook for anyone to see and that perhaps he should learn to use Facebook he switched tacks and implied that those people were also dishonest and would not attend.

Seriously?

When hundreds of people from around the world express an interest in visiting your little tin-pot town (a town sadly more renowned for its gang violence than anything), the last thing a member of the council should be doing is calling them liars.

But this is not the first time the council has called such people liars.

When I raised $40K in pledges from around the world to build a model-park at our disused airfield, the CEO of the council claimed those people were also liars and would not honour their pledges. Even after I showed the council my Patreon page where many of the same people pledge me that sum every year, there was no apology or even acknowledgement.

How odd it is that when I PROVE one of their staff to have lied to council that seems okay and no action is taken to address the obvious problem -- but when I present *evidenced* hard fact, the SWDC calls *ME* a liar.

To make things even more laughable, the CEO of the council reacted to the irrefutable statements by CAA and their legal team by suggesting that it was just an interpretation of the regulations and might not apply in their situation. Seriously? When the regulator makes an unequivocal statement about the meaning of their regulations it is treated like "just an interpretation" and is given less weight than the lies coming from ill-informed and agenda-laden know-nothing staff?

Sadly, I believe that the SWDC has really kept digging in respect to their interactions with me and the many initiatives I've bought to this town.

The log-book of instances where council staff have conspired to defeat my proposals by lying about the rules and where councilors themselves have clearly shown their ignorance and personal prejudices has now reached a level where higher authorities will have to take note.

I also expect the community (especially those charities that will miss out) and the businesses of the town (who are being denied a healthy post-Christmas bonus) will also have something to say.

I will be posting video from today's "encounter" with council so that everyone can see the levels of contempt and arrogance this council holds towards myself and the community they allegedly serve.

Stand by for action -- things are only just starting to warm up!

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