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

  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    17 hours ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    18 hours ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    18 hours ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    1 day ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    3 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    3 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago