Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Power To The River, Say Greens


Power to the river, say Greens

The Green Party will campaign locally and in Parliament against the Project Aqua hydro scheme for the Waitaki Valley.

Green Co-leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald visited the Waitaki Valley last month to study plans for Project Aqua and assess for themselves its impact on the environment. Now, on their recommendation, the party has taken a position to oppose the project.

"It is time we stopped destroying natural rivers just to heat our towel rails," Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today. "If Project Aqua goes ahead it will destroy forever the unique nature of New Zealand's largest braided river.

"Aqua will be the biggest Think Big hydro project since the Clyde Dam. It would channel over 70 per cent of the water out of the river and into a 60-kilometre long canal. Wildlife habitat, wetlands, fishing, recreation and housing would all be affected."

While the decisions are made by Environment Canterbury and ultimately the Environment Court, not Parliament, the Otago Greens will be actively involved in the resource consent process and Green MPs will continue to highlight alternatives to the project in the House.

"No one wants to face a power crisis every winter, but the answer lies neither in bigger hydro projects nor in new coal fired stations," Ms Fitzsimons said. "It is time we stopped expecting the environment to subsidise our wasteful energy use, otherwise it will always be 'just one more dam,' till no more rivers are left. Project Aqua will only postpone the problem.

"The only practical, long-term solutions to solving our energy problems without substantially changing our lifestyle are using energy more wisely, and investing in truly renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar heating and wood waste. Certainly, the $1.2 billion spent on Aqua could buy a lot of energy efficiency.

"The latest power crisis has shown what New Zealanders can achieve when they are focused on saving energy. Ten per cent was a good start but we could be saving up to 30 per cent every day with more efficient technology and more careful behaviour. Acting now will save our pockets and our environment in the future.

"We have enough energy now, if we use it wisely, but we will never have enough if we carry on as we are."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>




Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>


Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>


Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election