Stock grazing in waterways is nothing new in Canterbury, but the Regional Council seems to be letting farmers get away with it, the Green Party said today.
The comments come on the back of reports that cows from Dame Sian Elias and Hugh Fletcher’s farm in Canterbury were deliberately allowed to wander into Lake Taylor next to a DOC campsite.
“The most recent Environment Canterbury (ECan) compliance report shows 95 complaints were made to the council about stock in waterways. In many districts it was the number one complaint, yet only one polluter was fined. We want ECan to explain why this is,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“Some farmers keep breaking the rules, but appear to be getting away with it.
“ECan has tools they can use to deter farmers letting stock wander into waterways, such as fines and prosecutions, to ensure our water quality is protected.
“As it is, the $750 fine incurred for an infringement notice is far too low when you consider what is being done when cows enter a waterway. We’re not just talking about pollution from cow effluent entering the water, it’s about the banks being pugged and eroded too, which have consequences for water health.
“ECan is letting down the people of Canterbury, but because of Government interference with the democratic process in that region, they are stuck with them,” Mr Shaw said.