Last week, BayBuzz urged local Councillors, especially our Regional officials, to read the latest report on the country’s freshwater resources, prepared by the Business Council for Sustainable Development. The report essentially trashed the current state of water management in NZ.

Maybe some of our rural Councillors will be more inspired to read the report if they read this editorial from the radical propaganda sheet, Rural News (Sept 2, 08), entitled “Water woes won’t wait.”

Spreading the blame around with an even hand, Rural News says …

“[The report] … certainly supports criticism of regional councils’ woefully inept and shortsighted dispensation of the resource.

Central Government is, however, ultimately culpable for this mess. Let’s be blunt, the recently outlined National Policy Statement for freshwater management demonstrates an abject failure in leadership.

Labour has had nine years to formulate a coherent national policy to deal with these issues but all it has delivered is a spineless consultation document with an implementation date of 2030.While the nation’s water woes are not new, the fact that 22 years might be too late to wait for action seems to have escaped an entire gaggle of Ministry for the Environment bureaucrats.

But neither should the National Party be sitting smug; its silence has been deafening, suggesting it has absolutely no idea how to deal with the issue.”

In a recent speech (to National Conference, Aug 3), National’s Environmental spokesman, MP Nick Smith, promised: “Water is going to be a high priority. We need to find a better mechanism for allocation than first-in, first-served and New Zealand is going to have to lift its game in managing water pollution. Later this month we are hosting a forum of key stakeholders to start this challenging work. The drought last summer and the deluge these last weeks reinforces that the problem is not a shortage of water but a problem over how we manage it.”

Here’s an invitation Dr. Smith … Bring your forum to Hawke’s Bay. We’ll guarantee you a full house! We’ll even get a Regional Councillor or two there.


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