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Greens: Elitist Govt Leaves Kiwis In The Poo

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Russel Norman
Russel Norman

22 December 2008 - Ordinary Kiwis who like to swim in a river, surf at a beach, catch a fish or collect shellfish have been left drowning in cow effluent while the Government has exclusive meetings with industrial agriculture companies over the future of water in our country, says the Green Party.

Government Ministers Bill English (Infrastructure), Gerry Brownlee (Economic Development) and David Carter (Agriculture) had a special invite-only meeting with irrigators, Federated Farmers, councils and industrial agriculture companies on Saturday to talk about water use issues in Canterbury and Otago. Swimmers, surfers, fishers, and environmentalists were kept out of the meeting.

"All Kiwis have the right to expect the new government to represent their interests and to get the effluent and sewerage out of our rivers, lakes and beaches," says Green Co-Leader Dr. Russel Norman.

"Industrial agriculture combined with slack councils and hopeless central government regulation has already made a huge mess of our rivers, lakes and beaches, as people will experience on their summer holidays.

"New Zealanders are literally sick of rivers and beaches so full of cow and human effluent that their kids get sick. And they are fed up with rivers that run dry because the industrial irrigators have sucked out all the water.

"Kiwis want rivers and beaches clean enough to swim in without getting diarrhoea or ear and eye infections.

"Kiwis want to be able to collect shellfish to have a feed, without worrying about sewerage and agricultural pollution that will give them campylobacter poisoning.

"Kiwis want to be able to catch fish and whitebait at the local river which still has more than a trickle of water.

"This Government needs to get out of bed with industrial agriculture and pay attention to ordinary New Zealanders who have a deep interest in the future of water in our country. Elitist government and industry meetings are not the way to decide the future of water in Aotearoa New Zealand."

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