One of the initiatives of National’s Blue Greens was to extend the length of time that one farmer could continue to graze the edges of Lake Ellesmere Te Waihora near Christchurch. This is what they are adding to the lake:
Yep, that’s a lot of cow pats next to the lake (photo from 2005) – faeces just waiting to wash in, and nitrogen just waiting to go through the groundwater – adding to the heavily polluted lake.
This was an initiative of the BlueGreen Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson and the BlueGreen Amy Adams, as revealed in this Press article. The Nats leant on DoC to extend the lease. This was against the advice of the Department of Conservation, from the article:
The [DoC] report said allowing Clark to continue grazing cattle “would be both inconsistent with our policy of lake margin protection and also unfair on those other concessionaires who we have modified or cancelled their licences to exclude cattle from lake margin lands”.
A Department of Conservation ecologist, who assessed the site in November, said Clark’s cattle were damaging the grazing site and having a detrimental effect on the lake’s ecosystem.
The Lake is already heavily polluted with faeces and nitrogen but the BlueGreens seemed to think not enough. And poor old Ngai Tahu was told big fat porkies when they inquired about it – and they are not happy. It’s also very revealing that it’s about rewarding the farmers that are dragging the chain and effectively punishing the farmers that have done the right thing.
And just to remind our friends in the Blue Greens what they forced DoC and the Lake to accept here’s another photo:
Maybe it’s time to join the True Greens!
UPDATE – I should add that it was TV3’s temerity to even mention this issue when they covered the BlueGreen’s conference that so upset National Party blogger David Farrar.