Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cantabrians, don't lose our trump card!

I'm proud of the people in my city who have stood up to the bullying of ECAN. Yesterday many met in protest against ECAN's disassembling. Rodney Hyde has spoken a lot about individuality and individual choices. But his authoritarian posistion makes him look hypocritical and ignorant. What these dictators fail to understand is that pure water is Canterbury's trump card. Regions and places around the world face water scarcity issues like I've discussed on this blog. It is not just in third-world countries. Britain, Australia and the United States are not immune to water scarcity. They do not have the same amount of clean, accessible water like we do. Our government has taken our water for granted.

Rodney Hyde seems to present himself as a calm and intelligent man who means well. But his statement on politicians reveals much about himself: "Politicians are vulnerable to interest group pressure, and at times invite that pressure by pandering to various interest groups in search of votes. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact of life in a democracy."

He has taken Canterbury's local democracy over an interest group while collaborating with David Carter. "I would have thought what happened recently with Environment Canterbury would be a signal to all regional councils to work a bit more constructively with their farmer stakeholders." - Agricultural Minister David Carter. He isn't for people having opinions if they don't suit his and the members of Rodney's party agree.

This government has been acting somewhat irrational. For instance in their report on why ECAN was getting the sack it's stated "[ECAN is] Science led rather than science informed." Science led is science informed. If I am a surgical doctor and you need surgery, you want me to be led by medicine. If you need your appendix out, you do not want me to be led by guesses by cutting your leg off and hoping for the best. So why would we do this to our enviornment? Why play dangerous guessing games that could destroy our ecosystems all for some profits?

The report uses vague and emotive words. "There is national risk of failure to act and get an effective framework for managing water." They don't fully define effective. Effective to who? Is this a risk of everybody dieing or just some businesses dieing because they can't sustain themselves? Our water is precious and shouldn't be handed to just anybody for anything.

But this appears to be what the governemnt is doing. "ECan has some economic capability in-house but appears to provide insufficient economic consideration in its RMA decision making in both a planning (including consideration of alternative policies through section 32 analyses) and resource consent context." Insufficient economic consideration? Just because a lot of money can be made by using one part of our enviornment, doesn't mean we should do it. We can replace money easily. We cannot replace the enviornment very easily.

There is conflicting information on what local councils think of ECAN as well in the report. "The [Territorial Authorities/]TA sector describes ECan as an organisation that is always right, arrogant, overzealous and litigious. The litigious claim is not supported by statistics as noted later in the report." The use of "TA sector" creates confusion, as if all councils thought alike. In the paragraph after that statement you quote one of these councils who has this to say: "We would like to record that we have found the environmental science and technical section of the Council to be helpful in providing information for our planning. Where we have dealt directly with these staff they have been knowledgeable and very good at being flexible and working in with our requirements. We have appreciated their efforts in providing an efficient service and quality information.”

We deserve an enviornment that will support us and our future Canterbury.

1 comment:

  1. Why is everyone so fond of the regional council when they are an utter failure at protecting the environment. All the water degradation from over irrigating and intesnive farm use (dairying) has happened on their watch.