Thanks to PENNY WARDLE – The Marlborough Express – for this story.
The Wairau is one of the South Island’s longer rivers – at around 170 km. Along its lower reaches are some of New Zealand’s foremost wineries…
Dirty rivers campaign begins
Mr Norman visited freshwater crayfish farmer Pieter Wilhelmus at his business up river from Wairau Valley township and talked to farmers John and Joan McLauchlan, who have battled electricity company TrustPower’s plans to build a power scheme across their land.
Mr Norman said freshwater fish farms were the canary in the coal mine on clean water. While some farmers had done a good job of fencing waterways and keeping them clean, a few were doing a bad job.
“The impact has been felt on a stream that should be crystal clear.”
Mr Wilhelmus claimed he had battled problems with the river being polluted by deer and dairy cows, and farmers objected to his resource consent for fish-farming being renewed. The costs involved with renewing the consent meant that he and his wife, Coreen, had to work off the property and no longer farmed organic salmon, although they continued to grow freshwater crayfish.
Mr Norman said the couple’s problems were a microcosm on what was happening in other parts of the country.
…Erosion and flooding in Marlborough during the past fortnight had brought to the fore the importance of high environmental standards, Mr Norman said. The plantation forestry industry was pushing for more permissive standards, as New Zealand moved towards a national environmental standard to replace district council rules. Forestry logs and trees that slipped off hillsides blocked rivers, causing flooding, and tonnes of silt were washed down rivers. END
- Popular swimming spots prove unsafe for bathing (nzherald.co.nz)