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

 

Councils Failing To Clean Up Our Environment

Wednesday November 3, 2004

Agriculture Sector And Regional Councils Failing To Clean Up Our Environment

Fish & Game New Zealand said a report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment revealing large scale environmental degradation from intensive agriculture, showed that the agricultural sector needed to urgently remedy the damage they were causing, and that it was also an indictment on Regional Councils.

The Commissioner, Dr Morgan Williams, launched the report “Growing for Good? The sustainability of intensive farming in New Zealand.” The Report says the rapid expansion in the use of nitrogen fertilisers, increased stocking rate, and increased irrigation were threatening New Zealand’s soils and freshwater. The Report says there is strong evidence that New Zealand waterways are becoming nutrient enriched and degraded from animal faecal matter and nitrogen.

Says Neil Deans Fish & Game spokesperson: “The Report supports what Fish & Game has been saying all along that land intensification cannot continue on its current scale without serious impacts on our natural resources.”

“There has been a virtual revolution in farming, particularly with the growth of massive dairy agribusinesses, the scale of which even takes some farmers by surprise. We support Dr Williams’ call for a fundamental redesign of farming practices and systems. The agricultural sector which is raking in money from this level of rapid growth needs to take responsibility for the damage it is causing. Not only from a social responsibility point of view, but also the potential damage to our overseas sales. They are not doing enough.”

“Another critical element arising from this growing level of environmental damage has been poor local governmental management. Regional Councils have been pitifully slow to control the impacts of this agricultural revolution.”

“They are carrying out insufficient scientific work on the effects of such large scale change and making significant decisions on the basis of very poor environmental information. Some Regional Councils grant lengthy resource consents, for 35 years, with little understanding of the long term effects.”

“Regional Councils are not responding fast or comprehensively enough to reduce nitrogen pollution. In the Waikato, for example, $63 million of nitrogen is lost each year”.

“This Report, and the recent NIWA report which said that almost all lowland waterways have pollution levels that exceed health standards are a wake-up call to the public and politicians. It just proves how necessary Fish & Game’s Dirty Dairying campaign was.” “How can we brand ourselves as ‘clean and green and 100 percent’ pure when the evidence shows us as dirty and brown”, says Mr Deans.

“This expansion in farm productivity is based on cheap energy which makes New Zealand very vulnerable economically. Along with cleaning up our environment the agricultural sector needs to urgently look at conserving energy and being less wasteful.”

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: 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. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election