NRT: Pillaging the Rakaia

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, February 7th, 2013 - 35 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, local government, water - Tags: , , ,

No Right Turn with the latest on National’s ongoing annexation of Canterbury.


Pillaging the Rakaia

National’s dictatorship in Canterbury has delivered for its cronies again, amending the Rakaia River Water Conservation Order to allow Lake Coleridge to be drained for irrigation. While the government is spinning this as having no effect on the river, the reality is rather different. According to Trustpower it will roughly double the number of days the Rakaia is below its minimum flow. But a bunch of farmers will be able to use that water for private profit, without paying a cent for it (except, I suppose, in donations to the National Party who gave them this gift). Meanwhile, those downstream will pay with less (and dirtier) water, and (ironically) a greater risk of flooding at the river’s mouth.

This is what the dictatorship is for: to allow the pillaging of Canterbury’s most valuable natural resource, its water, for the private profit of a few, with the costs dumped on the many. We should not tolerate it. And when democracy is finally restored in Canterbury, we should reverse it and force the farmers to pay for the water they use.

35 comments on “NRT: Pillaging the Rakaia”

  1. Ennui in Requiem 1

    There is a bird that is unique that breeds ONLY on the South Island braided river beds. It is the only bird in the world whose beak bends to one side. This is the Wrybill Plover.

    These little characters are highly endangered, their numbers threatened by environmental change. In short they need a clear square kilometer of shingle on the river bed in order to nest. That means no broom / lupins etc which in turn encourage introduced predators. To keep these areas clear a MINIMUM flow regime is required, which is one reason why the Rakaia had a Conservation Order.

    With other very committed people we fought a fight in the 70s and 80s against these same freeloading farmers to save the Rakaia. A generation later and it is all in shreds, no democratic process involved. Every National MP plus their supporters can now add to their CV a very particular skill: extinction specialist..

    When these cretins die their gravestones should record, “I knew lots about economics, and lots about destroying my childrens future”.

    • Murray Olsen 1.1

      I’m not sure they know much that’s factual about economics at all. I agree with you on destroying the future.

      • mike 1.1.1

        Quite right Murray. Maintaining a healthy environment is good economics. All this lot know ‘lots about’ is how to divert what belongs to all of us into the pockets of their mates. And don’t be fooled into believing these mates are ‘farmers’ ‘cockies’ or any gumbooted worker, no these mates are suited wealthy corporates who live in cities and own this land. The National Party are their bum boys.

  2. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 2

    EiR
    I heard on Radionz this morning about the difficulties that conservationists and non-vandals have in nz and some of their triumphs.
    10-11am: Feature interview – Botanist and conservationist Sir Alan Mark

    I have a lovely, old aerial photo taken of the Canterbury Plains near harvest time, patches of green yellow etc, all squared off. Now as one flies over there are the ubiquitious circles of green with the travelling irrigators circling and flinging precious water into the air as if it isn’t precious. While we go after these ‘cash crops of dairy’ we aren’t growing our own wheat and basic foods. But there is money for the big boys, dairy are the new deer. (Remember when all the wealthy went into deer farming.) And the taint in our milk product from nitrogen inhibitor is just the start of the decline of our brand under the factory farming techniques of wealthy men and women who’ve got control of our main assets.

    I bought some Otago apricots in Nelson the other day. The desire for water for electricity has destroyed another food – of apricots – rich in Vitamin A. Milk itself is expensive for us as a food.
    Perhaps we will be buying it in from China soon, where some deal will be struck up to bring in some cheap finely engineered milk now that we don’t try and supply anything for ourselves

  3. Erentz 3

    So what I find very strange about this whole situation is that while I can understand on a national level no one is reporting these abuses or the general disrespect/uselessness of brownlee sticking his nose into everything. But surely at a local level 80+ percent of chch hates these guys by now? Yet they don’t seem to, which basically makes me pretty depressed about NZs political situation since if you can’t even shift the attitudes of people on the receiving end, what can you do.

    • fatty 3.1

      But surely at a local level 80+ percent of chch hates these guys by now? Yet they don’t seem to, which basically makes me pretty depressed about NZs political situation since if you can’t even shift the attitudes of people on the receiving end, what can you do.

      What do you want us to do…Labour voted to give Gerry the Hutt the power to shit all over us. The East is forgotten by all and turning into a ghetto. North south and west of Chch has become richer as those that can move there do.
      Chch protested against the Ecan takeover and nothing happened. We protested the corporate wank fest which created the plans for our ‘new city’. Our Mayor is a dickwad in the mold of John Key.
      Mana don’t show up cause Chch like old white dudes.
      Greens chase the yuppie vote in the West of Chch.
      Labour are Labour…they assume if National screw someone over, those victims will then vote for Labour. The Nats will probably take the city again in 2014. Rebuilding will begin in mid 2013 and Nats will have quite a profile in Chch then. 2014 will see the lowest voter turnout because we are sick of protesting and have nobody to vote for. My guess is the East will go to Labour and the rest to the Nats*

      If you look at the so called recovery of Chch, it has been used as a political tool.
      Following the immediate disaster recovery stage, the clearing of the CBD has been going at a snails pace to subdue unemployment. The main rebuilding will be done to synchronise with National’s 2014 election – expect to see major projects being completed a few months before the election. The new plan for the city took all the desires of the people (except low cost housing in the city centre) and screwed them so that they became vehicles for big businesses. The call for more green space resulted in a horrid green belt which drives up land prices and excludes small businesses. The new arts precinct sits next to the casino. The stadium will be on the east side – stadiums often create an environment where crime increases. ..and who the fuck asked for a convention centre?
      We are going to be asked to sell the city’s assets to pay for this robbery.

      Some things are improving, some are getting worse. The things that are improving have not come from the government, nor from other political parties. Those in power, those in opposition, those at a local level and those at a national level have fucked us. Its not fair to expect us to keep being politically active when there is nobody there to represent us. The people of Chch are victims of disaster capitalism…the problem with that kind of oppression is that the more political you get, the more you suffer
      Christchurch is tired, the more we try the more we lose.
      Wake us up when a political party wants to help us.

      *lianne dalziel has been great

      • Alinsky 3.1.1

        People said much the same things when I was traveling through Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Palestine, and Syria.

        That can’t happen here.

      • halfcrown 3.1.2

        Of course non of this is reported on the MSM. More important things to report. Take this mornings news for example, more important things like saturation cover of the “state” funeral of Paul Holmes, and is the sister to the female who married William, here or not here to compete in the South Island coast to coast race. Who the F**k cares.

      • tracey 3.1.3

        if lianne runs for mayor it will be a landslide

  4. vto 4

    Philistines.

    Neamderthals

    Thieves

    Selfish and greedy

    Dictators

    Eaters of the seed potato

    Trashers of the future

    Takers from the children to follow

    Killers of species

    there is nothing good to say about Canterbury farmers doing this

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Or the government supporting them in doing this.

      • vto 4.1.1

        Yes I thought about adding that but by leaving it as just the farmers it actually exposes the true culprits – those who in fact do the stealing and shafting and who work and are driven by greed.

        It is the farmers who keep asking for this and getting their politicians to steal it for them. The politicians are equally disgusting but the focus must go on the farmers themselves. Personally preferably.

        You know, this Central Palins Water scheme has not that many farmers who will benefit. It may be worth naming them. Putting their identity up in lights and asking them to personally answer the issues.

        If these farmers had any backbone they would stand up. Bet they dont – yellow cowards

        I spit on them – pitoooey.

        • Colonial Weka 4.1.1.1

          I think it’s worth separating out the farmers that support the scheme and those that don’t.

          • uke 4.1.1.1.1

            +1

            There are non-intensive dairy farmers out there whose farms are just as productive as the intensive kind. Difference being they farm in high-rainful areas (and don’t need to take water from rivers; lakes; aquifers); and they are good farmers.

            • Colonial Weka 4.1.1.1.1.1

              And here’s an idea. Maybe farm appropriately to the land and the climate. Why the need for irrigation now when there have been farms there for 150 years?

              • tracey

                have the farms been converted to dairy? That’s a small part of the problem. Farmers who switched to dairy on land subject to droughts.

                I also agree that many farmers are responsible in how they farm their land. BUT with all things it’s the lowest denominator that is focused upon… like the many farmers I know who rail upon ALL the bludgers on benefits… the danger of low level thinking abounds

    • framu 4.2

      “Eaters of the seed potato”

      is that a VTO original? – (i like it, just never heard it before)

    • geoff 4.3

      Go Captain Haddock!

  5. MrSmith 5

    Peter will be along shortly with some more apologies I expect……….

  6. vto 6

    This should be reversed by the next government.

    Any good reason why a Labour-Green-etc government would not reverse it?

    Play their dirty fucking game straight back at them.

  7. ianmac 7

    There is no serious credible research on the quantity of the underground supply, nor of the replenishment rate. Criminal to go ahead without that knowledge.
    The Christchurch City water supply is artesian and it is largely unknown just what effect that diminishing the flow of the Waimakariri River or the Ragitata will have.
    The irrigated water will be free to farmers and is a gigantic subsidy. (Carter reckons “…but they have to buy expensive irrigators!”)
    During a drought the needs for irrigation will steal waterflows to below minimum needed to sustain healthy river life, therefore destroying trout and salmon populations.

    Not only Canterbury people should care. Who is next?

  8. National’s strategy for economic growth amounts to a ‘step change’ in the rate of exploitation of natural resources supplemented by ‘irrigating’ the private sector with the privatisation of public assets at regular intervals.

    It also has the handy side-effect of requiring the further disempowering of ordinary people’s democratic impulses in order to put the great economic strategy into effect.

    Questions about what kind of growth – and what extent of growth – we might all like are completely off the agenda. Supposedly one vote in three years is all that’s needed to satiate our – anorexic – appetite for democracy. (In fact, Key is in favour of a four year term, so there’s no clear and present danger of us gorging ourselves on democracy pie.)

    And, in other news from Christchurch, Brownlee has had a ‘secret meeting’ with the Council as he thinks they should not be working on their ten year work plan, so they’re looking at a ‘workaround’ of the Local Government Act that requires them to develop one.

    As Eugenie Sage says in the link, it’s another little bit of democratic participation that will go by the wayside – irrespective of Parker’s promise that the community will still be involved.

    Just how uninformed and gullible does this government think Cantabrians are?

    • Alinsky 8.1

      Definition: “step change”

      Intermittent rape as opposed to gang rape.

    • vto 8.2

      Yes of course puddleglum. If any compromise reduces the democratic input of residents to the next ten years or some other timeframe then it may be that the gloves really start coming off.

      It would be handy wouldn’t it, for this government, if the public were kept out. It would mean things like asset sales could be slipped in with limited scope for opposition.

      Given the incredibly untrustworthy nature of the Key government this must be taken as the starting position. They have destroyed any benefit of the doubt. They are treacherous.

    • tracey 8.3

      I heard Brownlee was turning up unexpectedly… but really arent these guys calendars organised months and months in advance? So it wasn’t a last minute decision, he was always going, he just decided to make it an ambush on council?

  9. MrSmith 9

    ChCh is suffering from the ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ syndrome at the moment, most people up north will be wondering why they aren’t rioting in the streets.

    Well some of you will have seen the picture of the rat with it’s head caught in a trap, and someone standing behind the rat holding it’s tail high in the air, the caption saying “everyone wants to screw you when your down!”

    The National party logo.

    • Alinsky 9.1

      I have visited and lived in countries and watched sometimes violent civil disobedience. Twice I recall arriving as a visitor in cities (Chicago and LA) and feeling the tension in the air. A few weeks later I was gone and huge riots broke out. I thought, “No surprise. Even a stranger like me could feel this coming.”

      I am always glad to come home to peaceful NZ. But another side of me wonders if all this “peacefulness” is healthy. Like the spouse who never protests being beaten up. Like the CHC blogger here who said they have given up protesting.

  10. Alinsky 10

    P.S.

    If you are so angry about politicians riding roughshod over you, why are so few of you supporting curbing parliament’s dictatorial powers with binding veto referendums?

    Are you the spouse who will not take steps to stop the bullying?

    Is complaining within your comfort zone and forcing changes is not?

  11. tracey 11

    I have friends and family in Christchurch, many who voted for Bob and the Nats. What I would call conservative NZ. Was down doing a mass visit two weeks ago and got around most of them. All but one are appalled at how things are going, none will vote for Bob again and only 1 would vote for National again.

    I don’t know that they have been abandoned by the rest of us. But this government has a policy of divide and conquer… it’s present in their refusal to speak with the Maori Council, preferring to deal with individual iwi, and it was present in the formation of Auckland Council, now moving to a city near you.

    The Nats will focus on the name calling of the Greens to plant the ancient meme of funny money hippies and loonies… leaving disaffected people nowhere to go with their vote.

    • Scintilla 11.1

      @ Tracey

      I’ve been mulling over the divide and conquer thing for quite a while – why that tactic has so much staying power and what are the most effective responses?

      I’d like to think the ‘funnymoney hippiesandloonies’ was rapidly losing potency, I certainly think it will over the longer term. New Zealanders have a new respect for the land since Christchurch, we no longer feel quite as secure. Makes all those other issues that depend on nature’s bounty more real. Every time there’s an earthquake, the old mountains start rumbling, your garden starts going crazy and flowers when it shouldn’t and more glaciers melt and alpine spheres retreat, we register a little more anxiety – it’s cumulative.

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    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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