Open and independent, balanced and reasoning minds are required for good regional governance.

Heat over bad water is rising generally, around Havelock North’s current crisis. The larger water quantity, population and risk in Canterbury mean that every tool available to resolve the same challenge must be applied here – and this especially includes democracy. ‘Many eyes keep bugs shallower’,  as the open-source software movement says. Let us all be enabled to act to preserve water quality, essentially.

Tuesday saw competing meetings in Lincoln about freshwater recovery: Two meetings, two visions for Canterbury’s freshwater lakes and rivers. The outcome from the blame game is, who can you believe?

Water users will defend their interests, the stronger the greater these are. Political interests step in taking sides, which muddies the water further.

Fish, fowl or four-legs? we may well ask – all are farmed from the natural resource.

So when fishers and fowlers claim the moral high ground, I for one stand unconvinced.

The Environment Minister is correct identifying a, if not the, major contributor to faecal contamination of urban waterways – that city dwellers get blamed for but cannot change!

Fishers and fowlers maintain hunting stock at maximum possible limits. But more city dwellers want the very messy canada geese gone from river banks, boating infrastructure and estuary and cleaner local rivers.

Thus Fish and Game oppose game-bird culls and leave Christchurch with the crap: both green poos and water quality blame. So it does not wash at all for ‘environmentalists’ to side with farmers of the rivers and lakes (Fish and Game base) expediently, to make their case and too-easy-allies.

Park or wild goose habitat? NZ

Park or wild goose habitat? Photo 170914: “Large flocks of canada geese have descended on the Waterstone subdivision in Paraparaumu, fouling the lakes, grassy areas, paths and walkways. Now residents are urging the council to organise a cull.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/kapiti/10517793/Calls-to-cull-wandering-geese

Now Fish and Game claim a place at the Environment Canterbury regulatory table for their farming interests too? Who is this helping really? One more example is enough.

The hazard-prone Opuha Dam in South Canterbury enabled much more dairy irrigation there – love it or hate it for its effects.

Fish and Game’s position is to support the dam, to steady the Opuha River flow for their trout. At this point the argument ends and I leave you to decide your own votes and whose interests you really want served in regional decision-making. Pick those with no interest materially different to your own: no conflict. Pick pure values.

Should it come as no surprise that state broadcast media sides with national government choosing winners in this debate? If we can have no trust in Radio New Zealand or The Press to avoid bias, what use are they to the public in greater emergency?

Refs. Chch water contaminated 125 times in four years, RNZ 30 August 2016 +
Swimmable lakes would require a bird cull – Smith +
Don’t blame birds for bad water, minister told 1 September 2016.

Water shot mix - northern South Island NZ

Water-shot mix, northern South Island NZ – “friends setting Canada goose decoys on the Acheron River during the Molesworth Goose hunt” – NZ stock photo: http://www.naturespic.com/newzealand/image.asp?id=45869

Water quality, real story-telling and this election are about one and the same thing: integrity.

For the only former Canterbury councillor running again in 2016 and therefore a referendum on central government’s treatment of Canterbury democracy and water equity, see CommunityVoice.nz

Quoting a certain prime minister for New Zealand journalism’s benefit, “Get some guts!”

Please do Vote

Kia ora

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