It is a black day in Canterbury with the loss of our elected Environment Canterbury representatives.
Our Water, Our Vote JOIN THE RALLY
Friday, April 30, 2010 Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Location: Environment Canterbury 58 Kilmore Street,Christchurch, New Zealand
April 30th is the final day that the elected ECan councillors will be in place at the regional council. The National government have rushed through legislation to strip the citizens of Canterbury of their vote and say in determining water issues in Canterbury.
This is our chance to say NO! Give us back our vote! Give us back our council! Give us back our water conservation orders – which had nothing to do with ECan at all, but were tacked onto the bill because of the obstacle they provided for irrigation interests.
Come to the steps of ECan at the end of the day on Friday. Bring placards, posters, drums, megaphones. Bring friends, family, colleagues. Bring your loudest voice.
At a little after 6pm, those who are keen may want to make the short walk down to the Copthorne Hotel, where the Nats are holding a ‘victory party’. Called the “Jenny Shipley Lecture”, the topic of this years event is “Canterbury Water – A Collaborative Approach”, Nick Smith, Bob Parker, various Canterbury National MPs, Mark Solomon from Ngai Tahu and various other irrigation and farming interests will be gathering together .This is the perfect opportunity to let them know they have massively misjudged public opinion.
Join the Protest 5.30 p.m. Friday 30 April.
The council represents 550,000 people, covering about a seventh of the country. It stretches from Kaikoura in the north to Timaru in the south, and everywhere east of the Southern Alps – an area including 78,000km of rivers and almost 5000 lakes. Sacked Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) councillors carried a coffin bearing the words, “RIP Regional Democracy” to their last meeting.
The frightening aspect of the new Government-appointed Councillors is that they will will have new powers to write and implement regional plans for Canterbury that cannot be appealed to the Environment Court.The Commissioners will also have the power to put a moratorium on water consents in areas under stress – and to bypass the Environment Court and vary Water Conservation Orders on some of the region’s protected rivers, such as the Rakaia, Rangitata, and Ahuriri River.
Documents requested under the Official Information Act by Forest and Bird reveal correspondence between David Carter and his MAF advisors on options to speed up irrigation in the Rakaia and Hurunui catchments by stopping the Hurunui and weakening the Rakaia Conservation Orders. It appears the government has been planning to attack Water Conservation Orders for quite some time, way before ECan review.
300 people angry angry about the government’s seizure of Canterbury’s water went to a meeting at the Great Hall Thursday 15 April chaired by Chris Todd of Forest and Bird to brainstorm strategies to protest our loss of our democratic rights.
In the meantime, a website has been registered, ‘Our Water Our Vote” and further information will be posted there as it becomes available. Check it out in our links below.
Further information can be found on Facebook at “Canterbury: Our Water”
UPDATE Mackenzie fight continues
The Environment Defence Society is urgently seeking donations to support its campaign to protect the Mackenzie Country from intensive dairy conversions.
Contrary to some media reports, the cubicle farming proposals have not been withdrawn. The 3 applicants have withdrawn their effluent discharge consents after they were called-in by the government. But they are still pursuing consents to take water for irrigation and still have valid land use consents from Waitaki District Council.
The 3 companies propose to create cubicle dairy farming operations involving 18,000 dairy cows being housed for 9 months of the year in 20 large wintering sheds.
It is the land use consents that EDS is asking the High Court to overturn. EDS has filed proceedings in the High Court in Timaru and contends that the consents should have been publicly notified, that they are invalid and that Certificates of Compliance setting out permitted activities are unlawful.
EDS is especially concerned at the landscape effects of converting brown tussock grassland to green rye grass as well as the effects of the large cubicle farm buildings.
EDS is seeking some funding from the Environmental Legal Aid fund but that will not cover all our costs.
In addition to the High Court action, we are campaigning for a Strategic Plan for the Mackenzie Country that would assess the options for both economic development and landscape protection in a properly integrated manner. The area is too precious to allow its future to be decided by ad hoc resource consents. We are trying to persuade the government to intervene and work with the local councils to prepare such a plan which we call Mackenzie 2050.
Donations to EDS are fully tax deductible and can be made oby mail to PO Box 95-152, Waitakere City 0653.
Please support this campaign!
Environmental Defence Society