While she has many times in the past attacked the TRC over its environmental monitoring programmes, it would be useful if she could remind voters what evidence she has to back up her latest statement (Riding Shotgun, August 19, 2013) that most streams and rivers are not safe enough to swim or fish in.
Here’s what she wrote in a discussion about Fonterra and Federated Farmers:
[Fed Farmers president Bruce Wills] cites a recent Ministry for the Environment water quality report as evidence that things are “stable or improving”.
Yes, but how low is that “stable” bar already set and “improving” from what level of degraded state in the first place?
While it is fair to say that the ministry appears to have drunk the Kool-Aid – such is their Government-led desire to appease the dairy industry – it is stupid to ignore a whole body of science that confirms what the industry refuses to accept.
There are literally hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and reports that clearly show the origin of the majority of nutrients, and what the impacts of intensive dairy farming have on water quality.
Why does Wills think there is such an uproar surrounding our fake tourism branding? It is not because people can safely swim or fish in most of our rivers any more. We can’t. Denying that fact won’t make it go away.
As a candidate for the TRC, I’d like to know which of the hundreds of reports say Taranaki’s waterways are unsafe. Could Ms Stewart please provide some references.
She doesn’t narrow her comments to Taranaki in this particular article, but the province’s rivers are in there by implication, just as they are when Massey’s Mike Joy makes the same kind of statement on TV.
Do our rivers deserve to be labelled with the same broad brush? I’d like a chance to decide for myself, as would the voters, I suspect.