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Rally Against a Water Conservation Order on Two Large Rivers

Huge Turn Out Expected in Hawke’s Bay for a Rally Against a Water Conservation Order on Two of Its Largest Rivers

A large convoy of tractors, trucks, utes and cars will converge from Hastings and Napier to Clive tomorrow for a large Rally in Hawke’s Bay to protest against a controversial Water Conservation Order on two of it’s largest rivers.

A WCO Application on the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers has been lodged by the NZ Fish and Game Council, Forest and Bird, Jet Boating NZ, White Water NZ and Ngati Hori Kohupataki Marae.

But the rural and urban communities have united in force to protest as many believe it will have devastating consequences for the region.

Hundreds of vehicles and large machinery will take to the road with placards sending a strong message opposing the WCO. From Hastings they will leave from the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds and from Napier the vehicles will start at the Freedom Camping Carpark on Marine Parade and the walkers will head from Waitangi Park. Everyone is set to congregate at Farndon Park in Clive for the rally at 1.15pm.

Twyford Cooperative Group Spokesperson Jerf Van Beek says the Hawke’s Bay community needs to be educated about the devastating impact of the WCO.

“It’s not just the primary producers who will be impacted. The whole community is set to feel the devastating consequences of the WCO. Factories and businesses will be forced to shut down and thousands of jobs will be lost.

“Urban water supplies will also be effected as the Ngaruroro River recharges the aquifer, which supplies drinking water to 80 percent of the regions people.”

Orchard worker, Waiora Tareha says she is joining the rally because as a solo mother she fears for her job in the Horticulture industry.

“People like me will lose everything. Not only will we lose our jobs, but we will lose our financing for our homes, our food for our families and the bigger picture here is that it will kill our community as a whole. If the water dries up, our jobs dry out and that will create a lot of uncertainty in our community. I think people need to understand this.”

Mr Van Beek says there is momentum building in the community against the WCO as people are worried about their jobs and their future if goes ahead.

“The WCO is wide reaching so we are expecting crowds from both Hastings and Napier and a big contingent is also coming from Central Hawke’s Bay.

“It is great to see the community uniting against the single biggest threat to our primary sector that we have seen in recent times.”

Despite an existing consultative process called TANK, which involves councils, growers, environmentalists, iwi and other groups, the NZ Fish and Game Council, along with the 4 others lodged the WCO application with the Minister of the Environment.

“This is not just about the growers and farmers. It is about everyone in Hawke’s Bay. We need to get everyone understanding that if the WCO goes ahead it will impact everyone.”
Ends

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