Here was I listening to the radio to be shocked by the news that 82% of Kiwis saying they were concerned or very concerned about pollution of rivers and lakes.
Then we had Fish and Game chief Martin Taylor telling us that the problem was fair and square farmers fault.
Unsurprisingly I have issues with that.
For a start why don’t you get ten people in a room and ask them their concerns. I’ll lay you dollars to donuts that pollution of our rivers and lakes isn’t the major concern of eight of them.
Let’s take that a bit further. As the vast majority of us live in cities our exposure to rivers and lakes isn’t great. Certainly not eight out of ten. I’d be surprised if it was over two.
In addition the majority of Kiwis swim in pools, not rivers and lakes and that is because of convenience, not of concerns about water quality.
Further we’re told by the experts that our greatest challenge is climate change, not water quality. Excessive wet or dry can drastically affect water quality and agriculture has absolutely nothing to do with it.
I’m also told we have 80,000 children in New Zealand who are below the poverty line. Does Fish and Game really expect me to believe that people are more concerned about swimming in lakes and rivers than child poverty.
I could mention homelessness, debt, Donald Trump, the road toll, health and education which I’m sure rational people would be more concerned about than the occasional person who may wish to swim in a lake or a river.
So simply speaking I’d like the research peer reviewed by a reputable, independent expert as I just don’t believe it.
The vitriolic anti-farmer band wagon jumping chief executive of Fish and Game one Martin Taylor blames farmers fair and square. I’d expect nothing less.
What he conveniently chooses to ignore is that the number of times sewerage overflowed into the environment jumped 379% last year. As we don’t farm people in NZ I could accurately predict that agriculture had nothing to do with the problem.
The findings by reputable organisation Water NZ found that 35 out of 40 councils surveyed had sewerage regularly flowing into rivers and streams.
We were also told that the sewerage overflows were putting popular swimming areas off limits.
In addition 20 out of 178 wastewater treatment plants were operating on expired effluent discharge consents.
What irritates me is that if they were farmers they’d get hit with the full rigours of the law.
So come on Taylor and Fish and Game be accurate and be honest.
It is interesting because Fish and Game have one role in life, to protect and support that minority of New Zealanders who kill the predatory trout and salmon and the all polluting duck..
Farmers on the other hand are responsible for the standard of living the entire country enjoys.
Further, farmers organisation, Federated Farmers is supported by voluntary subscriptions. Fish and Game is supported by a compulsory tax on licenses. If I want to kill fish and ducks legally then I have to join the compulsory union that is Fish and Game.
Something is drastically wrong.. .