The Horizons Regional Council has found itself facing a barrage of criticism again.

Where once it was a few environmental groups upset at its soft touch on intensive farming, others have joined the queue.

Fish & Game continues to hammer it over the way it is regulating intensive farming more than a year after the Environment Court ruled the way it was doing so was "unlawful and "invalid" with no new process in place.

Last week Horowhenua hapu and locals called for commissioners to be brought in over the state of fresh water in the district.


Then Whanganui District Council chief executive Kym Fell piled in for the opposite reason, saying Horizons was grasping at straws in prosecuting it for discharging wastewater into the Mowhanau Stream when a Powerco fuse blew.

WDC broke the law - the guilty verdict confirms that - but the problem had been fixed and, as Fell pointed out, the prosecution achieved no more than punishing ratepayers.

The same ones who are forking out millions for a state of the art treatment plant while more that half the region's plants don't meet full compliance.

If Horizons wants to draw the line there, all power to it, but be consistent.

When Horizons faced legal action for not implementing its own One Plan properly it said it had to work alongside farmers, that the carrot was better than the stick, that it had to ensure people weren't financially impacted too much.

None of that seemed to factor into Horizons' decision to prosecute WDC and so it looks like an overcorrection to counter past lax regulation.

It's hard to argue with Fell who said: "I believe they're scrambling to demonstrate some kind of effectiveness ... to shore up some credibility."

Horizons is at once under fire for being too soft and too tough and this kind of inconsistency will continue to cause it problems if it tries to be all things to all people.