Dirty rivers and streams – time for a change

Wairau River Map

Image via Wikipedia

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

11.1.11 – Green Party co-leader Russel Norman kicked off a dirty and threatened rivers campaign in Marlborough yesterday with a rafting trip down the Wairau River.

Wairau River Bridge-2

Image by angusgr via Flickr

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.

“That’s why we need standard rules, a national policy statement on freshwater management, which is currently sitting on Nick Smith‘s desk waiting to be signed.”

…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


Related Articles

About robynmmoore

Anything to do with people and the environment and I'm interested! I have been writing and commenting about education, the environment and other community-related matters since 2006. I'm a compulsive researcher. In 2009, I finished a thesis on Kapiti's water issues and am still researching outcomes there. This website and the work I do as a trustee for the Whitireia Foundation are part of my aspiration to contribute to 'shaping more sustainable communities'...also the title of my thesis. Look it up - it's free at www.j.co.nz.
This entry was posted in Environment, Geology, Uncategorized, water, water allocation, water management, WSD and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Comment / Ask a Question

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s