Mike Joy honoured and Ecan occupied

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, September 15th, 2017 - 15 comments
Categories: Conservation, disaster, Environment, farming, sustainability, water - Tags: ,

Massey University’s Dr Mike Joy has been awarded the inaugural Critic and Conscience of Society Award for his work on water quality in rivers and lakes.

The Critic and Conscience of Society Award, sponsored by the Gama Foundation, acknowledges academic staff who provide independent, expert commentary on issues that affect the New Zealand community and its future generations. The prize of $50,000 is earmarked to support his further research.

From the Herald,

The independent judging panel noted how Joy, a senior lecturer in ecology and environmental science at Massey, had made a substantial contribution over the past two years to raise public awareness of an important issue facing the country.

“Mike’s work has successfully placed a complex and difficult environmental issue on the public agenda,” said panel member Professor Steve Weaver, of the University of Canterbury.

“He’s single-handedly raised awareness of an issue that’s at the heart of our country’s primary economy and environment.

“While some of his messages are unpalatable to some, Mike has been a fearless crusader to ensure this issue remains a top of the agenda for central and local government, as well as for the agricultural industry.”

Meanwhile, 100 water protectors occupied the Ecan building yesterday to urge restoration of democracy in Canterbury and restoration of healthy waterways.

From Greenpeace,

Today, with about 100 people from Canterbury and further afield, we occupied the regional council building for the day.

We did it because our rivers are crashing, New Zealand has too many cows and because the National Government stole democracy from the people of Canterbury to make way for more big irrigation and more intensive dairying. Democratically elected regional councilors were sacked and replaced with Government appointed commissioners. Since then cow numbers have doubled. Our demand of all political parties: reduce the dairy herd, and return democracy to the people of Canterbury immediately.

Both Labour and the Greens committed to give Canterbury back a democratically elected regional council.

Good to see Peel Forest organic dairy farmer Bryan Clearwater being quoted in the media. These are the kinds of farmers we can get behind.

Among the protesters was Bryan Clearwater, a dairy farmer from South Canterbury.

He said the groundwater beneath his farm was polluted with nitrates, and clean water was pumped to his house by Fonterra.

“We’re obviously pretty concerned,” he said.

“My colleagues in the dairy industry are not just receiving an environmental subsidy, we are receiving a public health subsidy as well.”

His farm had a low environmental footprint and did not add nitrogen to the soil. He received a premium for the organic milk his farm produced.

He said dairy farming in Canterbury needed to de-intensify, with a focus on soil management and lower stocking rates.

“I think farmers are a pretty diverse bunch. When the regulations are put in place as they need to be put in place, they will come up with different solutions.”


15 comments on “Mike Joy honoured and Ecan occupied”

  1. Ian 1

    Jacindas sideshow got sidetracked yesterday when they suddenly realised that the Selwyn river is swimmable AND drinkable

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      I wonder how the guy who drank the water for the photographers is feeling today. Have you heard from him?

    • mauī 1.2

      Ian’s darwin award winning new documentary “Drinking downstream of every major dairy farm in the countries”. Proudly screened at Canned and Waterdunce flim festivals, bought to you by Funterror.

      • lprent 1.2.1

        Personally I wouldn’t drink there. I would dust off my old skills in testing water and test there.

        I always remember remember at University going along the Hamilton to Cambridge road getting bore water for testing. Nice looking places. Water was only suitable for irrigation.

  2. mac1 2

    To Ian at comment #1.

    How’s this headline for the river that bounds my property.


    “Whitebaiters are warned to wash their catches from Blenheim’s Ōpaoa River due to raised E coli levels.

    Marlborough District Court environmental health officer Karen Winter says whitebait fishers should wash their hands, their equipment and their catch under the tap at home to avoid getting ill.”

    Anybody want to drink from Blenheim’s major river?

  3. ianmac 3

    And I think the Selwyn has just had a major flood flushing out. In a month or so back to square one.
    Pity about Ōpaoa River pollution Mac 1, having just bought a second hand net. (The lady I bought it from was too frightened to keep fishing because of the threats and intimidation from others who were perhaps Gang members.) Wonder what the major cause is of the Ōpaoa River pollution is?

  4. reason 4

    Dr Mike Joy was attacked for high lighting Nationals destructive ‘growth’ …

    “if the pollution caused by the dairy industry was properly accounted for it would exceed the industry’s total economic value.”


    Dirty water brought out dirty politics …. ” political lobbyist Mark Unsworth emailed Joy, accusing the Massey University ecologist of economic sabotage and describing him and his cohorts as “the foot and mouth disease” ….

    “Cameron Slater blogged that Joy ought to be “taken out and shot at dawn” for his treachery. The New Zealand Herald accused Joy of overstatement, and scolded that his damaging analysis had reached an international audience.”

    Havelock North and its mass water poisoning showed who the real saboteurs of New Zealand have been https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/15/faeces-linked-to-gastroenteritis-outbreak-that-hit-thousands-in-new-zealand-town

    “The underlying problem, he says, is that those who pollute don’t pay to clean up the damage. Instead, the cost falls on the public in the form of a degraded environment and lost opportunities ” —- Dr Mike Joy

  5. Eco maori 5

    Big upps to Mike keep up the good work.
    Our water issues would have been covered up if you did not champion our water quality problems.

  6. cleangreen 6

    “Massey University’s Dr Mike Joy has been awarded the inaugural Critic and Conscience of Society Award for his work on water quality in rivers and lakes.”

    Mike Joy is our premier Scientific reporter on water quality and during the National ‘rape & pillage years’ 2008-2017; Mike was ignored by Government for his expert knowledge of our degratation of our own water quality.

    We hope he is cherished by the new labour lead Government from this month and is elevated to a position within government agencies for his excellent collection of data and scientific studies he has emased over the last several decades.

    Our country will be enriched by Mike Joys engagement with the new government this year.

    I have spoken to Mike on several occasions on my own studies on ‘road runoff pollution’ which also causes degradation of our waterways and mike is solidly knowledgable on this form of water pollution too.

    Good luck Mike we emplore your award it is well deserved.

    The Director.
    Citizens Environmental Laboratory Research Ltd. (CERL)

  7. Incognito 7

    Dr Joy’s employer, Massey University, should give him their full support and fulfil their duty as critic and conscience of our society as laid out in the Education Act. What’s more, they should educate and enable many more to become such critics and guardians against the spread of mis- and disinformation.

  8. Mike Joy is a courageous man considering the fate of other govt critics, and given the current threats to academic freedom in NZ Universities, it is imperative that Massey continues to support Dr Joy and makes this clear to a government which has been possibly criminally negligent about environmental issues.

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