Russel Norman
Canterbury water management in no-mans-land

I recently was the guest speaker at the Annual General Meeting of the Water Rights Trust (WRT) in Christchurch, where outgoing Chairman Murray Rodgers gave an impassioned speech about the poor state of water resources and water governance in Canterbury. Murray remains as a trustee of the WRT and is also a member of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Steering Group.

Murray made some very good points regarding the snail-like pace at which improved water management is happening. After many years of what he describes as the “gentle approach” of education and persuasion which has failed to improve water quality, Murray paints a picture of Canterbury as a “no-mans land” of water governance.  This situation is brought about by the lack of unequivocal commitment from both farmers and the central Government to do what is necessary to clean up the region. Sadly, this story is echoed in other parts of New Zealand where intensive agriculture has been left to expand without adequate regulation.

Murray’s speech can be read here:

Murray’s speech covers many of the points made by the Green Party in our plan to clean up New Zealand’s lakes and rivers to make them swimmable once more, including a levy on the use of water by irrigators. You can read our Clean Rivers plan here

18 thoughts on “Canterbury water management in no-mans-land

  1. Murray’s speech is an excellent one Russel. I read it with great interest and saw that it very much applied to the situation we face here in Southland. Consequently, I emailed the pdf to each of the Environment Southland councillors, the CE and key staff and trust that they’ll find it as useful as I did. Thanks for showcasing that excellent work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2 (+5)

  2. But Wussel you know the local tribe in Canterbury has drilled the biggest water bore the country has ever seen. Poor Mighty Mak will be renamed Maori Cow Creek.

    [Careful, d4j - you are banned from several other blog sites for racist, sexist or generally abusive comments. Don't push it here. For a start, refrain from deliberately spelling names incorrectly]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9 (-7)

  3. Hey dad4justice, if you can, and without being racist, sexist or generally abusive :-)
    tell me what you are referring to with your ‘drilled the biggest water bore’ comment and the ‘Maori Cow Creek’ allusion.
    And don’t be a big silly, it’s Russel!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 (+3)

  4. Yer Daddy unacceptable abuse – your kiddies free of that are they?

    [frog: And no need to respond with unfounded innuendo, Mark. Let's not take the thread down that path.]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6 (-6)

  5. Frog – why the sudden change of heart in moderation?

    There are regular Green contributors here who systematically use petty name calling, abuse, deliberate wrong spellings, racist names, expletives etc.

    And they never get a mention from you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5 (+1)

  6. An inference that these are the things done by regular Green contributors and that the site management practice double standartds.

    Why do you come then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  7. Water management in dairy is an issue everywhere. Dairy on the canturbury plains would have to the dumbest thing out there. If you have to irritate to make it viable is that really smart land use?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 (+4)

  8. Good onya Russel..
    Dumping pollutants into the ground & water, doesn’t just make them magically disappear.. WAKE-UP N-ACT !
    I for one have to drink the water from rivers & streams.. I don’t have a secret supply, for my private consumption. We ALL have to be responsible for our impact on the environment. Air, water & soil.. Kia-ora

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 (+4)

  9. I am in full support of Russel here a more robust and streamlined law is really needed, but that will be worth diddley squat if there is no enforcement.

    And it is very interesting that Murray is complaining about the ‘snails’ pace at which that enforcement is happening.

    Pre-election complaints were leveled at Environment Canterbury councillors by red-neck polluters who want everything their own way. Those councillors and officers were ‘slow’ because they had large case loads and were trying to do their jobs responsibly.

    Now those democratically elected councillors have been sacked and replaced by a commissioners answerable only to Nick Smith and on double the saleries with less staff and they are going just as slow.

    All the more reason why Russel should not be courting the Nats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

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