Thousands protest against the ECan coup

Radio New Zealand reports:

More than 3000 people gathered in Cathedral Square in Christchurch to protest the sacking of the Canterbury Regional Council and the threat to the region’s rivers.

The decision to replace the Council with commissioners was made in March, after the Government raised concerns about its management of fresh water.

But the Our Water, Our Vote coalition, which organised the protest, says that was an affront on democracy and will lead to abuse of the environment in order to make money.

I wish I could have been there to support them.  The movement is growing against Nick Smith’s and Rodney Hide’s appointment of an unelected junta to allocate water rights that will allow farmers to draw unsustainable amounts of water from, and seriously pollute, the streams and rivers in Canterbury.

The replacement of the democratically elected Regional Councilors in Canterbury, and denying Cantabrians the vote that everyone elsewhere in New Zealand has on their regional governance later this year, is a travesty to democracy.

It’s great to see the people of Canterbury fighting back, and to see Green MPs Russel Norman and Kennedy Graham supporting them, to return to democratic regional governance.

9 Comments Posted

  1. Bravo Canatbrians. Poo on the govt taking over. Mismanagement will ensure that the farmersrae the land of its water for greed and the braided rivers will die. So much for the demise of the tourism attraction.

  2. Seems we’re all going to be paying for the irrigation schemes that we the farming industry of Canterbury will get.
    More of Key’s ‘democracy’ in action!

  3. @greenfly 8:14 AM
    It is indeed a lonely battle, ‘fly – but someone has to stand up for the right of farmers to put shit in our their rivers. Otherwise our country will descend into democracy.

  4. stephenmikm – fighting a lonely battle on Red Alert on behalf of The Hon. Mr Hide and cold children.
    What a trooper!

  5. Ianmac says:
    June 13, 2010 at 7:01 pm
    TV 3 had a brief item about 6:10showing the huge crowd in Cathedral Sq and a quick 40 second or so voice-over. Disappointing coverage but heck the usual “important” news first.Ha!
    TV 1 had a larger item at about 6:20. It did have spokespeople who had a chance to speak and they did focus on stone cairn that lots of people are contributing grey-wacke (sp?) stones to fill. The cairn will stay until democracy is restored. Apart from signs, it semed to by-pass the significance of the Key Government role.
    Well done Brendon! We don’t live in Canterbury but support the cause.

  6. Good on you, Russel, for giving us an update on the protest. A pity though that Radio NZ is the only media outlet to have yet covered this.

    Over 3000 people protest, and both TVNZ and TV3 ignore it! (edit: seems they didn’t – must have missed it flicking channels, and they both took a long time to get it on their websites). Hopefully, there will at least be something in The Press in the morning (edit: there is).

  7. There was a diverse crowd in Cathedral Square (centre of the City, outside the Anglican Cathedral (thanks!)) …
    People of all ages from babies to the elderly; families, teenagers, many first-time protesters, seasoned campaigners, new migrants, familiar faces, representatives of various organizations and groups, Christians and unbelievers, local politicians mingled in the crowd. (I saw politicians: Green and Labour MPs, City Councillors and our now-unemployed ECan Councillors).

    As one who was born, raised, and still lives here, I judge this gathering to be an example of Otautahi/Christchurch at its best.
    The citizens are worried, angry, and determined …

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