Community groups abandon Smith’s water forum

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, March 11th, 2017 - 14 comments
Categories: national, useless, water - Tags: , , , , ,

What a farce:

Fourth group quits water forum

Another group that promotes improving water quality has resigned from the government’s Land and Water Forum.

The Federated Mountain Clubs, which has 20,000 members, has written to the Environment Minister Nick Smith saying it is pulling out.

Forest and Bird quit the forum this week and Fish and Game left in 2015, along with Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New Zealand (ECO).

Forest & Bird said it was leaving the forum after its recommendations had been largely ignored by government, and Fish and Game said it was being muzzled and stopped from speaking out on environmental issues.

Federated Mountain Clubs vice-president Jan Finlayson said the freshwater policy was the breaking point.

“The government has treated Land and Water Forum very improperly. I think the stakeholders acted in good faith but were let done by a government that simply ignored their advice.” …

Will Nick Smith get the message and set in place a realistic consultation process and safe standards, or will he persist with a plan so bad that no one wants to be associated with it? Why does Bill English tolerate this fool?

The letter from Forest and Bird makes for depressing reading.

14 comments on “Community groups abandon Smith’s water forum”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The whole point of this venture was as cover for the government to do what it liked. To be able to say that they had consulted and had listened.

    It never had any intention of listening to those groups. The only people it will listen to is the rich and the farmers and it will cater to them to do anything they like without regard for others.

  2. Adrian 2

    the Nats dont even listen to the farmers much, they just take them for granted.

  3. slumbergod 3

    “Why does Bill English tolerate this fool?”

    Simple. Bill English is also a fool. And a tosser. And an asshole. And a sociopath.

    Let’s hope that enough Kiwis realise their darling Natzi Party is a con and vote for someone else just to evict them from govt.

  4. Keith 4

    Times come to forget Nick Smith and forget National, you can’t deal with them. They have no interest in conservation of even anything resembling clean waterways. Even if they feigned acting in good faith you could never trust them!

    This very big issue is for a government other than the NAT/Maori Party/ACT shambles.

    • AB 4.1

      True enough – but the sad thing is that we shouldn’t have needed to find this out the hard way, by actually having them in government for 9 years.
      Their behaviour could have been quite accurately predicted in 2008 if anyone had been awake, instead of going off their nuts about light-bulbs and not smacking kids.
      It’s going to take more than a decade – more than the lifetime of the next centre left government – to get anywhere close to tidying up the mess they’ve made.

      That’s why Ad’s idea below of supporting Forest and Bird is such a good one – they are a permanent presence on the scene.

  5. Ad 5

    Forest and Bird have received a $5m endowment recently.

    They are going to use it on water quality campaigning.

    With that $$, and a likely win in the Supreme Court coming up on Ruataniwha, they will be a massive force for any government to deal with. Now or future.

    Personally I find volunteering for them more positive than supporting a political party.

  6. Sabine 6

    Because Bill English does consider him the fool that does what he is told, and that is all that matters.

    Water, housing, transport, they are not fools, they do what is the best for them, what makes the most bang for buck – in their pockets of course, or in the pockets of their paymasters.

    I think really that after so many years of that bullshit we really should cut out the “why does he tolerates him.

    They have no issues tolerating each other as they are on the same page. They, the double dipper and his enforcer have an issue tolerating us and our insistence in decent housing, clean water and good infrastructure.

  7. Keepcalmcarryon 7

    Nationals ecological disaster- public funded irrigation lunacy was torn a new one on The Nation this morning. Recommend everyone watch it.
    Free hit for labour.

  8. lprent 8

    What I found rather appalling was the commentary by Gary Taylor after Forest and Bird dropped out

    Environment Defence Society chief executive Gary Taylor – whose organisation is a member – said Forest and Bird’s withdrawal in particular would hurt the forum.

    “But there’s still more than 60 entities left, all of whom remain staunch on the recommendations around the key issues [on freshwater] that are still controversial.

    “So we figure that we’re better off defending the forum’s consensus with that weight behind us than jumping out and trying to be a solo voice.”

    Bearing in mind that Nick Smith and the government have effectively ignored or diluted to stupidity most of the substantive recommendations that the LAWF have hammered out. This is just outright weird.

    In effect Nick Smith and his government has reduced the existing water standards primarily to make it easier for industries to pollute. The government’s primary excuse for their clear proposed removal of all substantive bounds to alleviate the rapid fall in water quality is to make the PR easier to sell. But to anyone with any sense of how Nick Smith operates, it appears more likely that they were removed to make them disappear.

    It is like this frigging bullshit from EDS

    “The announcement is generally consistent with some of the Land and Water Forum’s recommendations,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.

    “For the first time, swimmability is the objective in freshwater management.

    “We will have transparency regarding which lakes and rivers are in fact swimmable and which are not. This will vary across seasons and places. Regional councils will need to improve degraded systems with a target of achieving 90% swimmability by 2040.

    It isn’t consistent with virtually any of the LAWF’s recommendations. Even if you just took the very limited ‘swimmability’ question. The Forest and Bird’s points in their letter (linked in the post) makes it clear that proposals from the Government exclude most waterways by defining a swimming area as being enormously large and then focus almost entirely on one specific threat – e-coli, without considering the basics like having enough water or water supply to make the waterway safe.

    As it is, even most of the swimmable waterways in the proposal are likely not be given enough water to prevent the buildup of toxins, fertilizer, or organic forms other than a single marker (and often irrelevant) of e-coli. They will still be dangerous to get into, just less dangerous in one specific way. In the meantime having such a narrow standard will mean that water can be diverted from waterways that haven’t be plundered and destroyed yet, and they too can drop to the same low standard that Nick Smith proposes.

    Given all that it is hard to look at the EDS and see anything except a group that is more interested in being behind the decision making table than being effective for the environment. Sure you can see that they have stake in the failed strategy that is the LAWF – they were the group that it formed around back in 2008. But it is clear that the approach simply isn’t working.

    Now they look more like a ineffective Quisling or Vichy type loincloth covering the horrors of the government and industry attempts to further degrade the commonly held environment for their own profit.

    But I guess that is what a blue-green is, eh? A group more concerned about the look of doing something than actually being effective.

    Personally I suspect that the only thing that Nick Smith or this government will understand is being pulled into court and forced to justify their actions in public. Because it is pretty damn clear that they just view bodies like LAWF as cover while they operate in bad faith.

    I’d suggest that the EDS, rather than issuing their rather pathetic paens about how well the LAWF is operating, should instead outline at what level of being ignored that they would consider leaving the LAWF and starting to work on something more effective. I’m sure that we’d all find that an edifying thing to point to in the future of this organisation.

  9. gsays 9

    there seem to be lots of these small protests/oppositions mounting up.
    as has been stated, doc is taking forest and bird to court over ruataniwha (wtf! my money being used to protect and further private interests in hawkes bay), go maggie!

    former partners dropping like flies in the states water forum.

    over $700,000 spent on lawyers fighting folks who claim they were vitims of state violence when wards of the state. the defence from the ptb was that the action was to make sure money didn’t go where it shouldn’t go.

    less of, death by a thousand cuts and more like death by lots of gaping wounds.
    and with the arrogance apparent in this 3rd term reigime, it will bleed and bleed and bleed.

  10. Cinny 10

    The thing about Nickoff is .. it’s his way or the highway. He is a bully whose arrogance reins supreme, a special kind of attention seeking stupid is what he is.

    Wow so four large groups have quit the water forum, good on them, that’s something to feel proud about.

    He has massively underestimated how important water is to us Kiwi’s and to those in his Nelson electorate.

    See you at your street corner meetings in September Nickoff, I’ve got some information to share with your voters 😀

  11. Thinkerr 11

    I’m not sure why, but this (what passes for) government seems to have a sole ambition to have a balanced book, regardless of whatever other post-apocalyptic state the rest of the country is in.

    And the balancing of the books (which many of us believe is a myth, given the connection with how much the country borrows) is so precarious that it has to resort to political games like the subject of this article and more, to hopefully achieve its singleminded goal.

    I can think of many flaws with this, as I’m sure most of us can, but from their point of view, I think there are two major ones:

    1. The massive gains that their neoliberal ideology said would materialise from the things they have done have failed to materialise.

    2. They rely too much on polling, where people say how they think they would act, without knowing. Hypothetical example – people who think they wouldnt mind losing a few national parks in return for tax cuts but when reality bites they think differently.

  12. Ian 12

    Lots of human poos going into the water at the moment. Message to Aucklanders. Don’t swim in your local stream because you will be in the shit

  13. michelle 13

    shit is everywhere and we are being fed bullshit from a crap government

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bill English misleads Parliament on Police statement
    Bill English's attempt to restore his damaged credibility over the Todd Barclay affair has backfired after his claim to have "reported" Mr Barclay's actions to Police has proven not to be true, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. ...
    7 hours ago
  • Keep it Public
    The Green Party strongly supports the Tertiary Education Unions call to #KeepitPublic Keep what public? Out quality tertiary education system that National is trying to open up to more private for-profit providers with a new law change. The (Tertiary Education ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    8 hours ago
  • This ‘technical error’ is hurting big time
    Jonathan Coleman cannot resort to his ongoing litany that the Ministry of Health’s $38 million budget blunder is an error on paper only, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “He might keep saying it’s a ‘technical error’ but the reality ...
    11 hours ago
  • Labour to invest in public transport for Greater Christchurch
    Labour will commit $100m in capital investment for public transport in Greater Christchurch, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “As the rebuild progresses, there are huge opportunities for Greater Christchurch, but ...
    14 hours ago
  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 day ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    1 day ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    1 day ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    2 days ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    2 days ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    3 days ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    4 days ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    4 days ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    7 days ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    1 week ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    1 week ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    1 week ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    1 week ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Motel bill blows out as Nats fail to deliver emergency housing
    Minister Amy Adams has admitted at select committee that National has now spent $22m on putting homeless families in motels as it fails to deliver the emergency housing places it promised, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, how out of touch are you?
    What was going through Jonathan Coleman’s head in the Health Select Committee this morning when he claimed he was unaware that an estimated 533,000 people have missed out on a GP’s visit in the last 12 months due to cost, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Divided we fall
    I’m getting pretty sick of the politics of division in this country.  The latest example was yesterday’s comments from NZ First leader Winston Peters having a good go in the House at driving up fear and loathing towards people of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Electoral Amendment Bill to enhance democracy
    Democracy will be enhanced under Labour’s Private Member’s Bill which will have its First Reading today, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police underfunded despite rise in crime
    As crime continues to rise dairy owners are scared for their lives and communities reel under a record increase in burglary numbers, it has now been revealed that Police received less than three quarters of their bid in this year’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Road pricing years off, public transport investment needed now
    With road pricing still years away, Labour will step up with investment in public transport to ease Auckland’s congestion woes, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call to protect Easter Sunday in Auckland
    Auckland’s Labour MPs are backing the community to protect Easter Sunday by retaining current trading restrictions in the city, says Labour MPs Aupito William Sio and Michael Wood.  “The Government’s weak and confusing decision to delegate the decision over Easter ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.3 billion shortfall in health
    The funding needed for health to be restored to the level it was seven years ago to keep pace with cost pressures has widened to a massive $2.3 billion, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.  “We used to have a health ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Catherine Delahunty: My Mataura River visit
    On June 1st the Greens swimmable rivers tour visited the Mataura river and communities connected to it. All we need now is a Government willing to set clear strong rules and support the new conversation about measuring our success by ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • How the Social Security Bill has been affecting single mothers across New Zealand
    This week we’ve been hearing stories of how section 70A of the Social Security Bill has been affecting single mothers across New Zealand. In particular, we have heard how a victim of sexual assault, who became pregnant by her attacker, ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago