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

 

Big Irrigation Consent Locks In Climate, Water, And Health Damage - Greenpeace

Greenpeace is today condemning a large-scale irrigation consent as ‘locking in overstocking of the land with dairy cows which is bad news for our climate, a guarantee of more water pollution and a risk to human health.’

Environment Canterbury has granted a replacement consent for the Mayfield-Hinds-Valetta (MHV) irrigation scheme to operate on 56,500 hectares of farmland between the Ashburton and Rangitata rivers.

MHV was originally granted consent to discharge an alarming 104 kilograms of nitrate per hectare, outraging locals and freshwater advocates.

Intensive dairying pollutes waterways and groundwater with nitrate-nitrogen due to run-off from cow urine and synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. Nitrate pollution in water can cause a range of health effects, including ‘blue baby’ syndrome in infants fed formula milk made with nitrate-polluted water. It has also been linked to increased rates of bowel cancers.

The current ‘safe’ level for nitrate-nitrogen pollution in drinking water is 11.3mg/L, but the link to increased rates of bowel cancers has been shown in international studies at as low as 0.87mg/L.

Greenpeace senior campaigner Steve Abel says the consent comes after a long history of central and local governments failing to properly regulate the dairy industry.

"Intensive dairying is a triple whammy: it’s fouling rivers, spewing out climate pollution and putting our health at risk. All of that has gone unchecked," says Abel.

"With all we know of how destructive this pollution is, ECan’s granting of this consent is just further proof that both central and local governments are putting dairy industry profits over the health of our communities.

"How many people have to get sick before central and local government act? We cannot keep farming like this if we want healthy communities, flourishing rivers and a safe and stable climate."

ECan granted the consent with the requirement that MHV achieve a 25 per cent reduction in nitrogen losses by 2030.

"A quarter less nitrate-nitrogen in ten year’s time is still a hell of a lot of nitrate pollution seeping into drinking water. This figure will be no comfort to the communities who are already legitimately concerned about drinking the water that comes out of their tap," says Abel.

The consent application was non-notified, meaning that the public were not able to have a say on it.

"The way New Zealand farms affects all of us, from water pollution to the climate crisis. It’s immensely frustrating and dangerous when even the most affected local communities can’t have their say on a consent like this," says Abel.

Greenpeace is calling on the Government to phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and drop the limit for nitrate-nitrogen in water from 11.3mg/L to 0.87mg/L, in line with international research on nitrate pollution and bowel cancers.

"Everyone should be able to trust that the water from their tap is clean and safe to drink. It’s a sad state of affairs when New Zealanders can’t rely on their central or local governments to protect their health and the health of the land, water and climate," says Abel.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>

 

Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>

ALSO:


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:

PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels