Lax response to cows in waterways a symptom of Canterbury’s democratic deficit

Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) lax attitude to cows polluting our waterways is a symptom of a council which is more responsive to central government’s agricultural intensification agenda than the public’s concern for the environment and water quality, the Green Party said today.

The comments come on the back of the most recent Environment Canterbury (ECan) compliance report which shows 95 complaints were made to the council about stock entering waterways in 2013 and 2014, with only one resulting in a fine. ECan records also show that it failed to do anything the first time it was alerted to the problem of cattle entering waterways on Lake Station.

“The National Government appointed commissioners in 2010 to replace elected representatives and ‘fix’ the council’s management of fresh water. The report demonstrates yet another example of how this undemocratic solution is not working. ECan is failing to adequately respond to public concern about cattle polluting water ways,” said Green Party Canterbury spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

"New Zealanders should be able to swim in our lakes and rivers, free of pollution from cattle.

“ECan has tools to deter rogue farmers from allowing stock to enter waterways, such as fines and prosecutions, to help protect water quality. But when commissioners don’t have to answer to the public they have little motivation to ensure the tools are being used.

“This blasé attitude by Ecan to taking enforcement action is contributing to our poor national record on water quality; 62 per cent of our rivers are no longer safe to swim in.

“ECan’s unelected commissioners are letting down the people of Canterbury, but because of the National Government’s interference with the democratic process, they are stuck with them,” Ms Sage said.

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Green Party dismayed at delay in intensive winter grazing regulations

“The Government’s decision to cave into agribusiness and delay the implementation of critical regulations on intensive winter grazing is a bad outc...
Read More

Story

Seaweek: Green Party calls on New Zealanders to make submissions supporting Waiheke Rāhui to protect declining kaimoana

The Green Party supports the Rāhui placed around Waiheke Island by Ngāti Pāoa to protect declining kaimoana and as part of Seaweek, is asking New Z...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls on Government to stop dirty fishing practice of bottom trawling

The Green Party is calling on the Government to urgently stop dirty, degrading fishing practices in areas most vulnerable to destruction.
Read More

Story

Greens commit to ensuring strong oceans protection this term

The Green Party will work with Labour this term to ensure better protections for our oceans, Green MP Eugenie Sage said today.
Read More

Story

Successful prosecution of Talley’s deep-water fishing division shows need for more marine protected areas and better enforcement

Today’s ruling that Talley’s deep-water fishing division, Amaltal, is guilty of bottom trawling in the Hikurangi Marine Reserve demonstrates the ne...
Read More

Story

Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More

Latest Primary Industries Announcements

Petition

Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...
TAKE ACTION

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting...
Read More

Farming for the Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By mak...
Read More

Petition

Supporting farmers to be part of the solution

Our farmers are already leading the way toward climate-friendly agriculture - but governments must support them to go further, faster.   The Green ...
SIGN ON

Policy

Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy

Click here for our 2020 Farming for the Future Plan A strong and diverse agricultural sector is an important part of an economically viable and en...
See More

Policy

Forestry Policy

Protecting and growing our forests cleans the air and lowers greenhouse gas emissions, creates jobs and economic value, sustains the soil and clean...
See More