Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Mackenzie Basin Community Fights For Water


History Behind Mackenzie Basin Community’s Fight For Water

The Mackenzie Basin community taking on the Government to have water for irrigation and stock returned to them say there’s no denying the promises made to their community.

The Mackenzie Basin community today returned to top of Mt Mary in the Basin where 37 years ago the Minister of Electricity, Tom Shand made a deal that the Upper Waitaki Hydro development would provide them with water for irrigation.

Local station owner, Denis Fastier said looking out from Mt Mary today you see the giant canals that traverse the Basin, bisecting many farming properties, and effectively cutting them off from water.

“The three great rivers Ohau, Pukaki & Tekapo which used to flow through here are now either dry or reduced to a trickle.” he said.

“Water is the potential life blood of this arid region. It was concern about the impact of those canals that prompted the meeting on this hilltop all those years ago, ” said Denis Fastier.

The area’s former Mayor, Bruce Scott is behind a petition backing the community which he today presented to National Party Leader Dr Don Brash and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith on top of Mt Mary.

“I was right here in 1967 and heard Tom Shand promise that water would be set aside from the hydro scheme for irrigation potential,” he said.

“As young farmer in this area I was delighted when that promise was confirmed in the 1969 Order in Council that set aside 14.7 cumecs of water for irrigation in this area,” said Bruce Scott …/2 -2-

Bruce Scott said the petition has received strong support and contains 2,831 signatures, gathered in just a week, of those on both sides of the hydro development in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

“The petition has been signed by prominent scientists and engineers who were around at that time. They have a strong knowledge of the promise made to our community and know the benefits that this water would bring.”

“Like me, they believe that if the full intent of the OIC is not included in the Resource Management (Waitaki Catchment) Amendment Bill when it comes back before Parliament, then a very grave miscarriage of justice will have taken place,” he said.

Bruce Scott said he had also searched extensively through the records of the Mackenzie District Council and that the records confirm that the promise was made and that the clear intention of the Government was to honour that promise.

“My years of community service in this area have been guided by the philosophy that a promise made should be a promise kept. I won’t stand by and allow this Government not to measure up to the same standard,” he said.

As one of the first to irrigate land in the Mackenzie Basin, Bruce Scott says he knows first hand how even a small area of irrigated land can take the pressure off more vulnerable lands.

“The 14.7 cumecs set aside in the OIC can’t irrigate all the suitable land in the Mackenzie Basin, but with today’s technology if the potential of that 14.7 cumecs was fully developed it would help this area immensely from a production perspective but more importantly from an environmental perspective by protecting fragile wind-erosion prone soils,” he said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news