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Environment

More water woes – destroyed habitats

Just after writing last week’s edition, yet another group with input into the quality of our nation’s water has come to my notice. Who knows? There may be more.
 |  Malcolm Campbell  | 

The Cawthron Institute employs over 200 people and has over 100 scientists employed. This institute could place six scientists in each Regional Council in New Zealand and still have a few left over.

Do you know what? I was right there is another one. It is the Callahan Innovation with at times 422 employees, 200 scientists and you guessed it – all working diligently to build a ‘competitive and innovative economy’ for yours and my wellbeing.

The Regional Councils in addition, employ their own scientific staff.

In every organisation from top to bottom, to aid future development for the common good. According to websites, we are living in utopia, or soon will be, with ‘high quality water from the mountains to the sea’ (Cawthron Institute) literally the land of milk and honey, but the cows may have to go.

Darn it, what will I put in your and my latte? Realistically the truth is nothing like the scene painted above. My scientific research is based on looking out the window, no white coat, no test tubes, just eyesight. And what is important is not what I see, but what you and I don’t see any longer, because the creatures that were there are not there anymore and may be gone forever.

Realistically, it has be acknowledged that around 95% of the population reside in urban New Zealand and commute to work in urban streets, so unfortunately ‘most’ are completely unaware of the wider environmental landscape. Even the people employed in the agencies listed last week who are all saving the planet, are unaware of the collapse taking place. Well, what is to be done about the situation? That is the sixty-four thousand million dollar question?

While Callahan and Cawthron are promoting assistance and innovation which is really and truly wonderful, your first stop to get your brilliant idea into action, is to get a ‘Resource Consent’ and right now your brilliance is going to come crashing down in the face of reality, as you have to pay an unknown sum of money, without knowing if you will be granted a consent, or how long your brilliant idea will take to process or how many consultants (at your expense) will be called upon to assist the process, because although the council staff wrote their precious plan, they, the staff, will avoid if humanly possible, any responsibility for any development, good or bad.

Regretfully, that is the way it is, but you do have alternatives. You the applicant can try to purchase a business with some resemblance to what it is you want to do and slowly morph it into your ideal. Sorry to say this, but if a suitable business is not available in New Zealand and one is available in say Australia, then pack your bags and go!

My records and experience show that ‘Consents’ can cost $100,000 or more and you can get your gear into a container and offshore for a lot less than $100,000. Back to the environment at large. In a little over fifty years we have managed to destroy the habitat of many creatures that flourished in years gone by. Somehow the plot has been lost completely.

There has always been livestock in all the Auckland to Taupo area. It was what we did.  Insects, birds, amphibians and fish life abounded harmoniously along with the animals. Let’s look at science and associated authorities.

For example the Cook’s Beach Lakes along with Lakes Whangape and Lake Waikare have clearly collapsed and yet spraying is still poisoning them.

Worse the Deptartment of Conservation as recently as 1 March, 2024 published a spray programme for the following three months to deal with salt water paspalum and spartina in the Firth of Thames and Tairua Harbour using the Herbicide ‘Haloxyfop’. The label on the Haloxyfop container clearly states, ‘not to be used in an aquatic environment’.

DOC will put up notices of spraying activities to warn the public. However not all people see every notice and if anyone fails to see the notice, then they or their littlies could be in this toxic brew.

According to scientists, nitrogen along with e-coli are the villains causing serious problems, yet on 5 March a well-known Journal arrived in the mail with an equally well known scientist advocating the use of nitrogen.

People, rural and urban, have been manoeuvred into believing science is the new religion, all you have to do is believe the science.

Next week local water situations – Matarangi.