National fails to keep waterways safe | The Jackal

24 Oct 2012

National fails to keep waterways safe

Today, the Nelson Mail reported:

Golden Bay marine farmers are crying foul over a spate of dairy effluent discharges down the Aorere River which they say are endangering their multimillion-dollar businesses.

High bacterial readings have been recorded on mussel farms off the coast from Collingwood in recent months, with marine farmers saying they were almost at a level where the area would have been forced to close had they been harvesting at the time.


The council's own monitoring of the Aorere - which had been increased from quarterly to monthly - hadn't shown up anything unusual, Mr Smith said. It had measured only four E. coli spikes above alert levels over the last two years and each followed heavy rain.

That tells us the councils testing is not up to standard. If one set of testing shows high levels of bacterial readings and the councils testing shows everything is just fine, the latter is obviously flawed!

With two contradictory findings, it is obvious that the testing method being used by the Tasman District Council is incorrect, and they're indeed only playing lip service to improving water quality. In many cases it's up to the farmer to self-monitor, with the results invariably biased.

One of the problems is that many councils have a disproportionate amount of farmers on their boards. This means that farming is given preferential treatment, even at the expense of other profitable industries.

Mr Smith said. "We are always interested in improving our performance but generally water quality in our district is pretty good."

Nick Smith's definition of "pretty good" is about as irrelevant as it gets. Thankfully he's no longer the Minister for the Environment... But unfortunately we now have the feckless Amy Adams who is entirely remiss in her duties. All she seems interested in doing is removing the public's right to appeal council decisions to the Environment Court.

So less democracy and more spin that there's no problem with pollution in our waterways... With Nationals modus operandi, we should expect the amount of recreational sites that are unfit to swim in to increase well above the current 52%. Meanwhile the farmers continue to whine!