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

 


Conservationist Slams “Total NZ” for Dirty Rivers

Conservationist Slams “Total NZ” for Dirty Rivers

The responsibility for dirty rivers and the onus to clean them up lies with the whole of New Zealand said a Wairarapa conservationist and author Bill Benfield to a trout anglers conference in Wellington at the weekend.

“We ignore at our peril the real culprit - 100 percent greedy dirty Aotearoa” he said in an address to the annual general meeting of the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers held in Wellington.

Claims about dirty dairy, ignored other contributing factors to the alarming situation of over 60 percent of rivers being unfit for swimming.

“Dairying or not, the rivers trouble starts with their passage from the mountains to the sea,” he said. “For instance in river headwaters, insecticide 1080 - a super toxin - is spread by air. Not strictly an agricultural impact is Aotearoa’s bizarre and almost unique conservation by whole ecosystem poisoning in the pious hope the good will survive and the baddies die. It has a major impact on the insect food chain of both birds and fish.”

Further downstream in rivers, herbicide sprays were used on riverside vegetation which added to the chemical burden on the waterway.

“Besides dairying there are other agricultural impacts that New Zealand seems to be in denial about.”

Pasture cleaning for porina moth and manuka beetle involve aerial spraying around four litres/Ha of the DDT substitute, diazinon added to the destruction. Diazinon was banned out-right in the EU and its use severely restricted in the US. Yet in New Zealand there was no restriction and it ended up in rivers.

“What’s more its use is increasing with conversion of tussock country to ryegrass pasture and a consequent loss of bio-diversity,” said Bill Benfield.

In New Zealand, farmers had been allowed to take, for free, the accretion land of rivers adjoining their properties and fence them off. What was once for the public good was now private. Flood control now had to occur in the actual river channel and local bodies employed cross blading and ripping, destroying runs and pools and sometimes less invasive methods such as localised shingle extraction.

“As the main players in this are the state and its agencies, they have created a whole science industry devoted to concealing the true nature of the damage being inflicted on the whole environment, even the forests.”

Also detrimental were industries that while seemingly clean, often had “quite insidious industrial impacts, such as rivers used for cooling processes will receive the waste heat as a pollutant.”

Towns too were a major contributor to poor water quality, with town discharges at times being untreated storm water and sometimes barely treated sewage.

Bill Benfield said the trout fishing public had a responsibility to be active and engage with the wider society on the issue.

“Tell them that anglers’ pursuit of clean rivers is not a selfish pursuit of anglers conscious only of their trout, but a deep concern about an erosion of the environment that affects the whole community,” he said.

David Haynes of Nelson was re-elected as chairman of the Federation of Freshwater Anglers.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news