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


Flood solutions slip-sliding away

Flood solutions slip-sliding away

The Green Party said today that the Government must take a stronger line to climate change factors and unsustainable land use to mitigate the effects of the catastrophic flooding and extreme weather events that will continue to plague New Zealand in the future.

"The Government is to be commended for acting in a swift manner to the emergency in the Bay of Plenty and our sympathies are with the residents affected by the disaster," said Green MP Ian Ewen-Street, the Green Party's Agriculture and Associate Environment spokesperson.

"Clime change is a reality, and we're pleased that the Prime Minister has clearly acknowledged this. However the lessons we should have learnt from past events have not been followed.

"The Bay of Plenty floods, the Manawatu floods of March 2004, Cyclone Bola of 1986 and all the other one-in-100-year floods and weather bombs that have hit New Zealand in the last 20 years should have provided a strategic plan to deal with weather events. Sadly, we still have none.

"New Zealand is looking at a bill running into the tens of millions for the Bay of Plenty, adding to the $300 million damage bill for the Manawatu region in March. But these costs could have been reduced if we had a government that took steps to mitigate the effects of these weather disasters," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said the solutions lay in the shorter-term reforestation of marginal land in the agriculture sector and in long-term measures to put the brakes on climate change.

"When towns are flooded downstream, we must take a serious look at what is happening upstream," he said. "We are reaping the cost of a century of the clear-felling of marginal land to be used for pasture.

"After Cyclone Bola there was a clear acknowledgement by the Government of the day to reforest marginal land in the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast and to take a new approach to disaster management.

"And, in the aftermath of the Manawatu floods there was a clear need to include systemic tree planting and the retiring of marginal land, especially in the headwaters and catchment areas. If we slow down the water velocity and reduce the silt load upstream, we won't have lives lost and family homes destroyed downstream.

"So this time, rather than simply assisting farmers to recover only to the point of using their land again in an unsustainable way, any assistance package should be clearly tied to efforts to change their land use to include reforestation with indigenous species on marginal land.

"If we don't take heed of these lessons now, New Zealand is set for more devastation in the future - and one-in-100-years seems a pretty obsolete estimate now," said Mr Ewen-Street.

© 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? ) last night’s 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


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit 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: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over 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>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election