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.