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ACT's Fresh Idea For South Island Drought

ACT's Fresh Idea For South Island Drought

Thursday 22 Jan 2004 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today proposed the formation of a cross-party rural working group - to develop practical and workable solutions to ease the South Island's current, and future, drought problems.

"I'm prepared to put my hand up to work with both Government, and Opposition, rural spokesmen in a bid to solve this problem - and to protect future farming generations from the effects of drought," Mr Eckhoff said.

"We must look at how we can amend legislation - like the Resource Management Act - to provide farmers with greater water storage options. Allowing farmers to divert water to improved catchment areas - rather than letting it drain into the sea - would relieve pressure on local aquifers during the summer months.

"Politicians cannot simply sit back and ignore this ongoing problem. Economists have already forecast that this drought alone will cost Otago and Southland farmers at least $25,000 each in lost revenue.

"It is absolutely crucial for the South Island's future land-based industry that politicians stop sitting on their hands and do something - and do it quickly," Mr Eckhoff said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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