Home' Central District Times : June 26th 2012 Contents 2 CENTRAL DISTRICT TIMES, JUNE 26, 2012
If you were in the care
of the State before 1992
and have concerns about
your experiences ....
You now have the chance to be heard,
in confidence, by a panel of qualified
people who will be visiting your area.
Talking with the Panel will provide an opportun
for you to share your concerns. The Panel will
listen and where needed a tailored package
of assistance can be offered.
State care includes children's homes, foster care
the special education sector, health camps
and other residential health facilities.
For more information
call our freephone: 0800 356 567
or write to us at PO Box 5939
Lambton Quay, Wellington 6145.
& ASSISTANCE SERVICE
An independent agency supported by the
Department of Internal Affairs
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23 Tui Street, Taihape
Telephone (06) 388-0178
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Open 101/2 hours per day - times to suit.
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Phone: Betty or Sarah, 388-1285
or call 27 Huia Street, Taihape
opposite Taihape Area School
Jet boating debate shows we care
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The jet boating debate presently
taking place within the Rangitikei
centres around what sections of the
river jet boats should be excluded
The debate seems to have
inflamed various segments of the
community on a for or against basis.
I am writing this letter as a
person who did not lodge a
submission, who has followed the
debate since the day of the hearings,
and who represents a company that
is the major commercial user of the
river on the section in question.
First of all I would like to say that
I think it really won't matter what
is decided by the commissioners as
the river will have the last say.
The reality is that most of the
summer when there is a lot of raft,
canoe, kayak and fishing traffic on
the sections in question, the river is
simply too low for jet boats.
What I think is good about the
whole debate is that it shows how
many people are passionate about
the river -- or am I wrong about this
and people are only passionate
about access to the river?
I say this because it is the state of
the river we need to be passionate
about. The Rangitikei River is an
incredibly beautiful river, a river
that I have been fortunate enough
to spend a good deal of my working
life on. However, our river is under
threat and this is where we, as a
community, need to be focusing our
While Dirty Dairying'' has, for
good reason, been in the spotlight a
good deal lately, what has sailed
under the radar is the
intensification of hill country
farming. What I would like to
mention here in particular are the
feedlots'' carrying thousands of
cattle each winter that are starting
to spring up along the river banks.
What is the significance of those
you may say?
Well consider this. These feedlots
are generally in use for two to three
months over winter, with 1500
cattle or more on an area seldom
exceeding five hectares. While the
river is fenced off back about 20
metres or so, there is no actual
riparian planting as such. Not that
I think this would do much as these
feedlots are on a free draining soil
type, with most of the liquid waste
permeating through the soil.
Now consider this. Each cattle
beast is equivalent in wet manure
and urine production to 14 people,
(some reports suggest from 20 to 40
people). A little bit of maths says
that each feedlot as far as faeces
and urine production is concerned,
is the same as a town of 21,000
people parked on 10 acres without
any waste treatment. Two feedlots
and you have a city of 40,000 people
sitting on the riverbanks of our
beautiful river, with only one place
for all the waste to go -- yes you
guessed it -- into the river.
However, it is not only farming
practices that we need to draw
attention to. The wastewater
treatment facility for Taihape has
consistently been unable to meet its
discharge quality requirements
since 2006. This treatment facility
discharges into the Hautapu River,
a tributary of the Rangitikei.
What this means is, and I quote
from a report:
There are very high faecal
coliform bacteria and phosphate
levels in the discharge (from the
Taihape Treatment facility). These
levels are sufficiently high to deem
the Rangitikei River downstream of
the Hautapu-Rangitikei River
junction unsafe for swimming,
despite the massive dilution factor
provided by the Rangitikei River.
This discharge has drastic effects
on the aquatic ecosystem and
encourages algal growth. The
extremely low water quality
restricts movement of native
migratory fish to pristine habitats
usually located nearer the source.''
Up until recently I think many
New Zealanders thought we weren't
too bad on the water quality front,
and even though we were quite
good, it is time to think again. On
the world stage we have sunk from
number two on the pure water front
to number 43.
Is this what we need to be
passionate about? I would think so.
Who wants to drive a jet boat, row
a raft, paddle a kayak, or fish in
water that is unsafe to swim in,
contains cow s**t, is unsafe to
drink, and has degraded aquatic
I believe it is not too late to
change things for the better. We can
rectify most of the mistakes of the
past but what we cannot do is ignore
what is happening. We need to
address these issues as a
community and also for our children
and grandchildren. Brian Megaw
River row: Brian Megaw is calling for river users to be more concerned about the quality of the Rangitikei River.
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