Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Band-Aid Won’t Heal Canterbury’s Water Woes

Fish & Game says Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) recent amendments to planning provisions are nothing more than a "band-aid solution" to critical overallocation and pollution of the region’s waterways.

One of the major areas of contention is the proposal to use managed aquifer recharge (MAR) which ECan claims will "improve river flows across the region".

North Canterbury Fish & Game chief executive Rasmus Gabrielsson says MAR is a "false economy".

"For ECan to claim that MAR is the panacea for our rivers that dry up in summer because they have given too much ground and surface water away for irrigation is a bit on the nose.

"ECan has been warned for over a decade that it wasn’t managing water allocation sustainably and now they’re congratulating themselves for parking an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff."

North Canterbury and Central South Island Fish & Game submitted on ECan’s Plan Change 7 in relation to tighter controls on MAR, and those submissions were accepted. However, the wider issue for MAR is sourcing the water.

"The big question about aquifer recharge is where the water is supposed to come from," says Gabrielsson. "We should just leave more water in the rivers and aquifers in the first place to protect the health of the region’s rivers and drinking water supply."

Central South Island Fish & Game resource officer Angela Christensen says the only likely source for MAR water is the alpine braided rivers, as all surrounding waterways are already overallocated.

"This is essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Christensen says it is still unclear how exactly MAR will work.

"The Rangitata River, even with a Water Conservation Order on it, has no high-flow allocation cap, so will its higher flows be sought after for MAR? Or will ECan permit changes which allow water earmarked for drinking water to be used for aquifer recharge?"

She points out ECan has had no option other than to promote the use of MAR because otherwise it will fail to achieve its nutrient reduction limits, which for many of our lowland and plains waterbodies still do not go far enough to provide for ecosystem health and wellbeing.

"MAR is a band-aid solution as it doesn’t address the amount of nutrients being dumped on the land, which is the major problem."

Gabrielsson agrees ECan needs to focus on tackling the tough issues around unsustainable land-use activities that pollute Christchurch drinking water by further reducing nitrogen losses and increasing minimum flows for rivers and streams in Canterbury.

"This would enable current and future Cantabrians to enjoy an improved standard of water quality and quantity."

 

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Traffic Light Levels Announced


The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why An Attack On Iran Is Back On The Agenda


Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite have the numbers, so his people start talking to the media to make him seem like the smart bet. Or even perhaps: Luxon hasn't got the numbers, and his people start talking to the media to talk up his support so that he gets a nicer consolation prize... More>>




 
 


National: Christopher Luxon Elected Party Leader
Christopher Luxon has been elected Leader of the New Zealand National Party, alongside Nicola Willis as Deputy Leader. “It is a tremendous privilege to lead our great party, and I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me,” Mr Luxon says... More>>

Government: New Law Will Clear The Air For Tamariki In Vehicles
From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said... More>>



Government: Workplace Vaccination Requirements Extended To Cover Police And NZ Defence Force

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today that workplace vaccination requirements will be extended to include the New Zealand Police and Defence Force in preparation for the transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on 3 December 2021... More>>


Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>

AUT: Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid
In reaction to commentary that Aucklanders are at breaking point after more than 100 days in lockdown and that compliance with the rules is under threat, AUT Emeritus Professor of Sociology Charles Crothers says... More>>

National: Launches First Step To World-class Tech Sector

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says technology will create exciting careers and higher paying jobs and has the potential to transform the New Zealand economy... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels