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Fish & Game Welcomes The Decision To Scrap Aqua

MEDIA RELEASE
Monday March 29 2004

Fish & Game Welcomes The Decision To Scrap Aqua

Meridian Energy’s announcement today that it plans to scrap its controversial Project Aqua scheme on the Waitaki River was welcomed by Fish & Game New Zealand.

“It is a great relief for everyone who cares about our environment,” says Bryce Johnson, Director of Fish & Game New Zealand.

“They list in their media release a lot of reasons for scrapping Project Aqua including their ‘concern for the people of the Waitaki Valley’. The reality is that they are trying to cover-up their back down in face of opposition by the environmental movement.”

“The fierce opposition this power company has experienced over Project Aqua should send a strong message to other hydro power proponents that the public will not stand for any more of the country’s majestic rivers to be despoiled by dams. There are smarter, far more environmentally sensible alternatives to hydro, such as energy conservation, wind and solar power. And in the right circumstances possibly solid energy.”

“Now that this power company has got the hands-off message we would like to say to other commercial interests, such as those who want to abstract as much water out of South Island rivers for agriculture, that this is as equally unacceptable. Water allocation for irrigation from the Waitaki is still a huge threat to the future of this magnificent river.”

“New Zealand’s wild and scenic rivers, lakes, and lowland streams are a precious, finite resource. An open slather grab of this natural resource by power companies, wine growers, dairy farmers and the like is not acceptable. We know our community of outdoor recreationalists will strongly oppose any further attempts to commercially exploit the Waitaki and other waters.”

ENDS

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