Press Release – North Canterbury Fish and Game
If we are going to sustain both dairying and tourism in this country there has to be a very clear-headed look at what damages the other, and its not tourism that does the damaging. This from Labour MP, and opposition spokesperson on the …Fish & Game accompany opposition MP on Hurunui visit
9 July 2013
“If we are going to sustain both dairying and tourism in this country there has to be a very clear-headed look at what damages the other, and it’s not tourism that does the damaging.” This from Labour MP, and opposition spokesperson on the environment, Maryan Street as she visited the Hurunui River catchment.
The outing, accompanied by North Canterbury Fish & Game staff, was an important opportunity to, in Ms Street’s own words, “get an appreciation of what’s going on locally” and she took in sites in the upper Hurunui, along with those closer to State Highway 7 and the Balmoral Forest.
“Intensifying some of this land, given the type of soil it is, I can see instantly that that would mean drainage, and run off into this river, that would quite catastrophically affect its toxicity; these things need to be taken into account.” stated Street.
Fish & Game believes it was important to have Ms Street visit the Hurunui River and wider basin in order to fully comprehend the scale of proposed irrigation development, and to understand the significance of the potential negative environmental effects of irrigating 58000 hectares of farmland within the catchment.
“There is a lot of misunderstanding about what is at stake if we don’t maintain the Hurunui River’s water quality at present levels – so it is important that Ms Street, with her environmental portfolio, understands the facts and the challenges for integrating economic and environmental values.” says Scott Pearson, North Canterbury Fish & Game’s environmental officer.
The Hurunui River has over the past few years been a battle ground for Fish & Game, as it fights to maintain, not only the flow, but also the life sustaining quality of the water within the river and Pearson says “the current battle we are having here is over what is an acceptable level of discharge into the river from intensive farming, and this is basically going to set a lot of the precedent for what happens around the rest of the country in the future.”